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CV ball field improvements come to a halt while projects are researched

Liability, insurance, licensing may be issues for facility upgrade

CVHS baseball coach, Josh Bradley of Stites, addresses the Mountain View School District 244 Board at its March 19 meeting.

Photo by Lorie Palmer
CVHS baseball coach, Josh Bradley of Stites, addresses the Mountain View School District 244 Board at its March 19 meeting.

— The old adage, “no good deed goes unpunished,” seemed to come alive at the March 19 Mountain View School District 244 board meeting.

Clearwater Valley High School baseball coach, Josh Bradley of Stites, relayed to the board what he and his teams have done during the past several years to improve the baseball field at CVHS.

“I have volunteered my labor and the kids have been involved in all the projects – I always tell them if they’ll work, I’ll work,” he said.

They have smoothed the ground, brought in proper baseball fill, welded chain link panels and laid sod.

“We have equipment we have to put up and take down since we share the field with football,” he explained.

All the work has been completed without cost to the school district, Bradley said, through volunteer labor and donations from the community, as well as money he has procured from area businesses.

That’s where the subject becomes a little touchy.

According to district business manager Becky Hogg, MVSD’s policy 550 prohibits individuals or groups from asking for money from local businesses on behalf of the school without board approval.

Bradley said the money – including a large gift of $25,000 from Freedom Northwest Credit Union – was secured for the purpose of improving baseball in the valley for all ages, not simply for the CVHS program. However, the board felt like that may be splitting hairs.

“I totally appreciate what you’ve done for CV and baseball, but it could get us into hot water with our policy, Title IX and more,” said trustee Rebecca Warden, Grangeville, alluding to federal law that means to even the playing field for males and females in sports.

The subject came to the attention of the board when Bradley began plans for an announcer’s booth/concession stand on the field.

Hogg explained there are “all sorts of hoops” to jump through as a governmental agency, such as liability coverage, background checks on volunteers and others working on school grounds and checking to make sure anyone doing work is licensed and insured to work on school property.

She explained anytime school land is touched, it could be considered a public works project.

“Anything $10,000 or more and it’s public works,” she said.

Bradly estimates the proposed booth will cost from $6,000 to $8,000 to complete.

“The plan is for a two story, 12-by-25-foot structure,” he showed a rough sketch to the board. “We’re raring to get started.”

Because chair Mike Dominguez, Kooskia, served on the KYRO (Kooskia Youth Recreation Organization) board with Bradly and Bradley volunteers with KYRO for the improvement of Kooskia sports activities, Dominguez recused himself from any board decision on the subject.

Trustee Brady Lutz of Grangeville told Bradly what he’s done is “incredible.”

“I want to help you, not stand in your way,” Lutz said. “But I think we first have some questions we need to have answered.”

Dominguez said in the past there have been those who have wanted to put “hundreds of thousands into the Grangeville High School football field,” but due to several governmental restrictions, it was not allowed.

“I do think we need to do it the right way and talk about it more,” he added. “We need to cover all our bases.”

“I hate to put a damper on it, but we need to figure out the liability, who and what the money was specifically requested for and some other questions,” Warden said.

“I understand how government works,” sighed Bradley. “I worked with the City of Stites for eight years.”

The board tabled the discussion until the April meeting, with investigation into the project in the meantime.


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