With a unanimous vote Thursday to remove leftover junk from the Rumsey Park rodeo arena, and another to start negotiations with grading contractors, Payson's Town Council cleared the way for construction of twin playing fields in Rumsey West.
The council gave Parks and Recreation Director Bill Schwind permission to spend $24,800 from the council contingency fund to demolish and remove old metal bleacher frames, antiquated wood, cinder blocks, barbed wire, and miscellaneous garbage from the proposed ball field site.
The material was left behind after the town's rodeo arena and all salvageable materials were relocated to the new site in south Payson, Schwind said.
As for the ball fields themselves, Schwind said prior to the meeting that the Parks and Recreation Department has applied for a Heritage Fund grant to pay for the project.
"We're asking for $390,000 to convert that area to ball fields with lights and adequate fencing," Schwind said. "But we won't get any response back from the Arizona State Parks Board until September."
Still, the town is clearly moving forward with its fields of dreams. The council also gave Town Engineer LaRon Garrett permission to spend up to $10,000 to build temporary practice fields on the site.