June 19, 2018 – West Bend, WI – Members of the West Bend Baseball Association spoke before the West Bend School Board on Monday and asked the board for support in helping match a $500,000 grant from the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation to make improvements to Carl Kuss Field at Regner Park.
This past May the West Bend Common Council signed off on a Memorandum of Understanding in which matching funds would come from the City, WBBA, private donations and the West Bend School District.
That plan, however was quickly set aside after the school district announced it hadn’t agreed to the deal.
During Monday’s meeting the WBBA’s John Rozak brought forth a message to the board from West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow.
“To date the city of West Bend council has agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding with $100,000 in cash to Carl Kuss Field and a minimum of $75,000 in-kind labor and equipment for the project
How many know that Regner Park was home of the baseball summer league championship for over 20 years. Now summer baseball is gone and there needs to be a place to play spring baseball and through this project we’ll have a facility to give opportunity to play baseball in the spring in West Bend.
Right now the ability to play at either Regner or the high school diamond would be very limited.
The city is willing to do something and additionally both City Administrator Jay Shambeau and the Mayor are willing to entertain a $100,000 5-year amortized loan to the district to be paid back to the city. This would still need council approval.
We’re looking for a great partnership with the Baseball Association, the school district and the community.
This is a great opportunity with money from the Cal Ripken Foundation, the Baseball Association and the City and hope the school district will also participate.
It’s a facility that can be used for a lot of things. It would be a great addition to the City.”
West Bend Baseball Association President Willie Mueller also spoke briefly to the board. “Looking to help Regner Park and with the City of West Bend and hopefully the help school board to make a park the community would enjoy going to. We did this at Concordia and it thrived. You guys have an opportunity to do something like that and all I can do is ask,” said Mueller.
Howard Henrich also spoke to the board as a parent to secure the a multi-use facility for the community.
Henrich said there are “milestones and hurdles to overcome” and “this is a high priority for the greater community.”
Henrich mentioned how the multi-use facility could be used for a variety of sports and different leagues. “I currently umpire at high school baseball field and I feel it is in suspect condition,” he said.
Craig Larsen then spoke on behalf of the WBBA. “This is an opportunity to do something in the community and give back to the school district,” he said. “The facility at Regner Park is beyond repair.”
For more details on the Memorandum of Understanding and the school district response click HERE.
The board is expected to take up discussion in July surrounding the $500,000 matching grant and its potential participation in the project.