Softball fields coming to Niles sports complex

Published 8:59 am Thursday, March 13, 2014

A projected map of the new softball fields to be built in Niles. (Submitted illustration)

A projected map of the new softball fields to be built in Niles. (Submitted illustration)

The Niles City Council approved a contract with a Grand Rapids company to build three softball fields at the site of the former Tyler Refrigeration building at 1329 Lake St.

The contract, approved at Monday’s regular meeting, indicates Katerberg Verhage will be paid up to $340,000 for the construction project. Carrier Corp. is paying for the project, meaning there will be no cost to the city.

Ric Huff, city administrator, said people could begin playing on the field as soon as this fall, but a more realistic target is next spring.

Huff said it would be designed for high school fast -pitch or adult league slow-pitch softball.

“The school has voiced some interest in using it, but there is no commitment from them,” he said. “The core emphasis is adult recreation in the community.”

The pay-to-play facility would be run by the city, with league fees covering the cost of maintenance.

Also Monday, the city approved a proposal from Abonmarch, of Benton Harbor, to provide design services for improvements to a portion of Broadway Street between Fifth and 10th streets. Huff said the project would consist of surface maintenance and curb work. It is projected for early spring 2015.

Also, the council gave approval to the Knights of Columbus 708 to hold its annual fundraiser April 12-13. The event will support individuals with mental impairments.