Full-fledged use of the Carter Avenue ballfields moved a step closer to reality on the heels of a $10,000 contribution from the Town of Friday Harbor.
The Town Council in mid-December authorized a $10,000 donation to the Friday Harbor Athletic Association to cover the cost of a portion of the construction of a sidewalk on the west side of Carter Avenue. Installation of that sidewalk is among the conditions of the conditional-use permit required by the town for use of the fields.
The Athletic Association is undertaking construction of the fields as part of an agreement with San Juan Island School District, which owns the 34-acre property on the north side of town.
“While the Athletic Association is responsible for this project, we felt this was the right time for the Town to offer financial assistance,” town Administrator Duncan Wilson said.
The original plan for the ball fields, as proposed and approved in 2005, envisioned two soccer fields, three softball and baseball diamonds, a multi-use field suitable for football, lacrosse and soccer, a family playground area and a clubhouse for restrooms and a concession stand.
The Athletic Association and Island Rec earlier signed a memorandum of understanding that when all conditions are met and construction is completed, Island Rec and the school district will then enter into the maintenance and operations agreement. Island Rec is then expected to seek voter approval of a levy increase to cover the fields’ operating costs.
The sidewalk is expected to be installed in late December or early January.