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Deer Creek city council updated on Elmer Becker baseball field project

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The Deer Creek city council received updates from Diane George about the continuing Deer Creek Baseball Restoration Project during its regular meeting on Monday, Jan. 23.

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Phase 1 of the three-phase project to restore the Elmer Becker Field - and bring back a home turf for the Wadena-Deer Creek Shockers after an EF4 tornado destroyed the fairgrounds stadium field in Wadena - is nearly finished.

"The only thing left for Phase 1 project will be to put the benches in the actual dugout, but they haven't decided what they wanted, and the team will take care of that themselves," George said.

She said she made a request for West Central Initative to transfer $22,100 to the city of Deer Creek for payment of bills for the project. West Central Initiative is a Fergus Falls-based nonprofit and the fiscal agent for the restoration project.

Eastman Fencing and Sealhammer Construction worked on the project.

The city approved paying the bills as soon as the funds were available.

George said the next step is Phase 2: working on the concession stand, replacing the bleachers and working on the equipment storage area.

She said brochures were being created for fundraising.

George said there were different ideas for bleachers.

They could build the bleachers with an overhang for protection and have bathrooms or equipment storage under the bleachers, and have a separate building for concessions with bathroom.

Another idea is to have the them all in one area: storage or bathroom underneath the bleachers with two wings on the side - one for concessions and one for storage.

Council member Brenda Lee said that if they want to have the option of state tournaments in the future, they could go big right away and it would pay off in the long run.

George said some people prefer to be in the sun and others like the protection of an overhang.

She said that concession stands should probably be built with the window facing the field so concession workers could see the game too.

"The field is actually playable the way it is now," George said. "The fences are up, the gates are in, the dugouts are there with the exception of the benches."

The council discussed billing all departments for water use and tabled it.

Christmas decorations were also discussed. Mayor Julie Brenko said in the evening hours, it was hit or miss which ones were working and which ones weren't.

The council approved the budget and discussed election judges.

The council approved Highland Carlson as auditors.

The council approved a service contract with Maguire. Brenko said the city is still in the contract, and city clerk Carol Pearson said they want to update their files.

For 2012 designations, the council discussed whether to have the Henning Citizens Advocate instead of the Wadena Pioneer Journal as official newspaper, and decided on keeping the Pioneer Journal for six months and then revisiting the issue at a later date.

The council approved Wadena State Bank as official depository with Lee abstaining.

Lee and city clerk Carol Pearson were authorized to invest, with Lee abstaining.

Lee was designated as acting mayor in case of absence of Brenko.

Tim Weller was approved to continue as weed inspector.

USDA, IRS, MN State and PERA were authorized for wire transfers.

The council approved payment of bills.

In miscellaneous discussion, Weller and Brenko said the water tower needed to be cleaned.

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