Over 50 people packed City Council Chambers Wednesday night for a special public forum to get citizen input on Winona State University's proposal to construct a new baseball field in Lake Park.
WSU is proposing a 5.4 million dollar complex near Bambenek Field #1 east of Franklin Street that would also include a new pavilion and new lighting forthe existing 5 softball diamonds. The city's share of the project would be $115,000 which is already in hand in a softball reserve fund.
Public comments were about 2 to 1 in favor of the project. Peerless Chain CEO, Tom Wynn, said it's a well thought out plan that will be an economic attraction for the city. The comment most heard from supporters were "win-win" for the city and WSU and the project is a "no-brainer".
Winona Area Public School Board member Steve Schild said he was disappointed in the process of gathering all the information first and THEN asking for public comment. He said he doubted anything he said would make a difference if the city wanted to go ahead with the project.
If the project moves forward, WSU would use the field for about two months in the spring and the city would have jurisdiction over the field's use by local teams the rest of the year.