City, county reach ball agreement

Published 12:12 am Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Andalusia City Council Tuesday approved a joint use agreement with Covington County for ball fields at Johnson Park.

The agreement, which county commissioners are expected to execute next week, provides for both city and county baseball and softball leagues to use the park.

Beginning in 2012, the county will compensate the city for the use of the fields at a rate that will provide a funding source for the city to fund debt payments on planned improvements.

Mayor Earl Johnson said the planned improvements include two new ball fields. When completed, there will be four small and four large fields in the park. Some of the space between fields will be closed to traffic, he said, to make the park safer for children.

Johnson said the agreement has been developed by representatives of both the city and county leagues and all parties appear to be in agreement.

Under the terms of the contract, city league games will be played on Tuesdays and Fridays and county league games will be played on Mondays and Thursdays. Make-ups will be played on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The city will run concessions in the park, and profits from concessions will be shared on a pro rata basis, dependent upon the number of players.

Beginning in 2012, the county will pay the city $45,000 per year for the use of the facilities. Those payments escalate through the end of the 15-year contract, when the payment will be $49,500. The agreement is renewable for an additional 15 years.

Andalusia youth sports coordinator Allen Bracewell said the agreement has been a long time coming.

“We really appreciate your hard work in making this happen,” he said.

The improvements aren’t expected to be completed by the 2011 season. City officials said they expect to work with the county league next year as they have in recent years.