Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 21, 2017

Firm offers 15 acres to city

By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Apr 26, 2017
Photo by: Andy Hallman/Leder photo Fairfield Castings has offered to donate 15 acres north of the Dexter Apache soccer fields to the city. The Fairfield City Council discussed the offer at its meeting Monday.

A local company has offered to donate 15 acres of land to the city of Fairfield.

The land is located north of the Dexter Apache soccer fields on West Grimes Avenue. Fairfield Castings has been dumping its sand waste there. The Fairfield Park & Recreation advisory board recommended the city accept the donation.

The Fairfield City Council had an opportunity to talk about the issue at its meeting Monday. Councilor Daryn Hamilton said the property committee had an opportunity to review the donation. Hamilton said it was a generous offer, but he worried about the additional expenses the city would assume with so much additional land.

“Free is not always free,” he told the rest of the councilors.

Hamilton calculated it would cost about $45,000 to seed and shape the area into useful ground. On top of that, it would take four to five hours for a city employee to mow the grass, given that the parks department estimates an employee can mow 3.5 acres in an hour.

“That puts almost all of [park and rec director] Calvin Todd’s mowing budget into that land,” Hamilton said. “It’s nice to get something for free, but when you realize the large expense that goes along with it, and that we’ll have to maintain it going forward, it’s a different story.”

Hamilton was also curious about whether Burlington Northern Santa Fe would require the city to install a fence to prevent children from wandering onto the railroad tracks, or to stop balls from coming onto the tracks.

Hamilton said the thing the Dexter Apache land needs is a bigger parking lot so cars don’t have to park along West Grimes during matches.

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