Rec board OKs field pact

STEUBENVILLE – The city’s parks and recreation board unanimously agreed Wednesday night to a field usage and maintenance agreement with the Steubenville City School District that will allow Steubenville High School athletic department to maintain the Jim Wood Park ballfield in exchange for first rights to the field.

The one-year agreement will be presented to the Steubenville board of education next week for approval.

The recreation board members met in special session with representatives of the high school athletic department last month and heard Steubenville High School girls softball coach Gus DiMarzio propose a maintenance agreement that will see the school fix a drainage problem near third base, build new concrete block dugouts, fertilize and cut the grass.

“I would like to make improvements at the field. I want my girls to have a home field. And I want them to take pride in that field,” DiMarzio said at the Jan. 29 special meeting.

Steubenville High School Athletic Director told the recreation board members Wednesday night the school is prepared to reach a similar agreement for maintaining the Jim Wood soccer field.

City Manager Tim Boland said an agreement will be written for the soccer field and presented to the recreation board at the March meeting.

Recreation Board member Jim Emmerling proposed a schedule board be built at the Jim Wood field, “so the public will know when the Big Red girls softball team is not using the field and it is available for other people.”

“Whatever you want us to post we will. I would rather everyone know when the field is available,” added DiMarzio.

In other business during the two-hour meeting, Boland said he is hoping to have a recreation director hired by early April.

“We have already received 20 applications for the recreation director position. The deadline for applications is 4 p.m. March 7. We can provide copies of the applications to the recreation board members that evening and you can start reviewing the resumes before your March 12 meeting. At that meeting you can start narrowing the list for interviews. You can call special recreation board meetings for the interviews and hopefully have a recreation director on board by April 1,” Boland said.

The recreation director position has been vacant since December 2012.

The board also heard from Timothy and Steven Forte who outlined the creation of Fishers Council in Steubenville.

“We are Christian men and women who want to make a difference in the city,” said Timothy Forte.

According to Steven Forte, “the program is a way to get social programs to the people in need the most. We address those people who are left behind. This program will start in the spring.”

The board took action on several facility requests including:

– The use of the Belleview Park ballfields July 24-27 for a girls softball tournament.

– The lower Belleview Park ballfields from March 1 through May 31 for the Steubenville Catholic Central High School baseball team.

– The Belleview Park ballfields on Sundays from August through November for the adult co-ed fall softball league.

– The Belleview Park softball fields on Sundays from April through August for the adult co-ed spring softball league.

– The Belleview Park ballfields from May through August for the Tri-County Church softball league.

– Murphy ballfield from April through July for the Steubenville Pony League.

– The Belleview ballfields from March until July for the Steubenville Little League.

The board tabled several requests, including:

– A request from Regina Blanchard for her Let’s Play Ball program.

– A request from the Steel Valley Phenoms to use the Jim Wood Park ballfield.

– Two requests from Butch Brown to use the Jim Wood Park ballfield for the Steubenville girls softball association.

Mayor Domenick Mucci reported the Save Our Pool committee will host a spaghetti dinner fundraiser from noon to 5 p.m. on March 8 at the American Legion Post 33 hall.