|NRALL President Derek Goforth and Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover-Byant hold a site rendering at an event to announce plans for the new facility last August at McKechnie Field. Photo by Dennis Maley|
MANATEE COUNTY – Manatee County officials have announced that construction on the long-awaited Palmetto baseball fields for the North River American Little League will begin March 11, following Manatee County’s recent receipt of a required state permit.
The league has been playing in temporary quarters since being displaced in the land swap to build the current Palmetto Elementary School.
Manatee County received permit approval from the Southwest Florida Water Management District last week, the final requirement needed before construction could begin. Barring unexpected delays, the fields are expected to be complete in time for the fall 2014 season.
"This is the culmination of a long, long journey that goes back to 2001, when we were seeking to build a healthy and safe building for Palmetto's elementary school children," said Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover-Bryant. "There has been a lot of hard work to make this happen and now it's just a happy day for the City of Palmetto, Manatee County, the school district and most of all the Little League players."
|The Pittsburgh Pirates Foundation presented a contribution check to assist with the new fields before a spring game last week. Photo: Pittsburgh Pirates.|
The project includes three new regulation Little League fields, a parking lot, a press box and concession building, bleachers, sidewalks, lighting and associated infrastructure, all of which will be at Blackstone Field, east and north of the Blackstone Park softball fields.
The County says it will pay for the $3.3 million fields using Parks and Recreation impact fees, an $800,000 contribution from the City of Palmetto and a $75,000 contribution from the Pittsburgh Pirates Foundation.
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