July 27, 1998
Valley baseball gets a boost
Duvall to get new fields
by Lisa Allen
Valley View Editor
DUVALL--Groundbreaking may occur as early as this fall on a 9.7 acre piece of land that the city purchased last year for use as a youth sports facility. City councilmembers approved annexation of the Big Rock Road property at the July 9 meeting.
"We hope to start on the facility later this year," said Duvall grants coordinator Cecelia Boulais. "But annexation is a long process and the county Boundary Review Board, which would need to approve it, meets only every few months."
Boulais is optimistic, though, that the process will be a speedy one.
"The property is in the city's expansion area," she said. "If the county could get things done administratively, we could actually do clearing and hydroseeding this fall."
Boulais said the round of grants that was supposed to be decided on by the county came six months later than hoped.
On April 17, King County Executive Ron Sims sent the King County Council his recommendations for $524,312 in youth sports grants to 16 organizations throughout the county.
Among the recommendations was $49,971 requested by the city of Duvall and Sno-Valley North Little League for clearing, grading, surface preparation, seeding, bases and backstops for the planned Duvall Sports Field complex.
The grants to the 16 projects will leverage more than $375,000 in matching funds, donated professional services and volunteer labor, and will result in the construction or renovation of 19 ballfields countywide.
Boulais said that matching funds will come from the Little League and the city, with volunteer construction help being offered by Harding's Backhoe and Coy Construction.
"We are hoping to get going this year to have a surface at least for the younger Little Leaguers, since they don't have as many requirements as the older kids have," Boulais said.
The grant requires the city to partner with a youth organization.
"The city and Sno-Valley North Little League will have to sign a use and maintenance agreement," said Boulais. "The city owns the field but the Little League will be responsible for scheduling and maintenance - it would be too hard for the city to take over the grooming of a baseball field."
After the agreement is signed it will come back to the council for approval, she said.
In the early stages of development, the fields could be used for soccer, but once they are contoured and mounded, baseball will be the only game allowed, she said.
Longtime youth baseball coach Steve Frost said the deal will be "great for the Valley."
Frost formerly coached for Sno-Valley Little League but has moved to the Riverview Raven Colt team for 15-16-year-olds.
"Duvall and the Little League should be congratulated for working together," said Frost. "It means a lot more kids will be able to experience and enjoy baseball and softball."
The city will also be soliciting donations of labor and supplies from the community, Boulais said.
"The city put the money into the land, so it isn't possible to bring more money in for bleachers, scorecards and everything that is needed," she said. "We also need gravel, seed, a perimeter fence, pipes for irrigation and a backstop."
Total costs could exceed $150,000.