Softball league may change fields

The Keystone Girls Softball League wants to shift its main game site from Mill Run to Juniata, largely because neighbors in Mill Run have complained about parking and about softballs flying onto their properties.

League President Dustin Ott recently asked the Central Blair Recreation Commission to let the league use Kustaborder Field at North 10th Avenue and North 18th Street — a request the commission could consider, then pass on to City Council, which would need to make the ultimate decision, officials said.

If the league obtains permission to use Kustaborder, the transition would begin next year and take two or more years, according to Ott.

Neighbors of the league’s current main field on Old Mill Run Road near Cornerstone Fellowship of Mill Run church have complained at least twice to the Logan Township supervisors.

“If someone really doesn’t want you there, is it really beneficial for the kids?” Ott asked rhetorically during a break in the commission meeting.

The Mill Run field is small, and there’s a small parking lot, exacerbating the problems, especially for the older players, who hit the ball farther, Ott said.

Kustaborder Field is bigger and “tucked away,” with a bigger potential parking area, so a recurrence of the problems seems unlikely, according to Ott.

The move would enable the league to expand from its current 350 participants to 500, Ott said.

Kustaborder is currently “not utilized,” Ott said.

The league would ultimately need to move fencing, the concession stand, lights, a scoreboard and the bases from Mill Run to the new field, according to

Ott.

The league hopes that it could fix up the existing field at Kustaborder in time for next year’s season, so the league’s older girls could play there, while the younger ones continue to play at Mill Run, Ott indicated.

The league could create a second field the next year or so at Kustaborder to complete the transition, Ott said.

Ott has been in contact with local businesses about the potential for raising money to pay for the shift.

The commission manages recreation facilities like Kustaborder, but the city owns them, according to Marla Marcinko, city manager and commission member.

For the league to use Kustaborder, it would need to enter a lease agreement with the city, Marcinko said.

Commission member Eric Cagle, who is on City Council, said he has no problem with the league’s request.

The league has used the Mill Run field for 22 years, Ott said.

There are plenty of fields in the area used by baseball playing boys, but the facilities for softball playing girls are scarce, he said.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.

COMMENTS