Truman Sports Field Closed Until Mid-May


By Pru Sowers


While plans to redevelop the entire Truman Waterfront are still under consideration, the Key West City Commission has agreed to spend approximately $170,000 to install new sod and an underground irrigation system at the Truman Annex sports field.




City commissioners gave the job to T. Mac Wilder & Associates of Tifton, Ga. The company was the low bidder at just over $96,000 for the sod and irrigation system. The city will provide in-kind services of clean dirt fill, lighting and an electrical panel that will boost the cost to an estimated $170,000.




“We’re pretty confident it will come in under budget,” city manager Bob Vitas said.




There was considerable debate initially by city commissioners about the cost, considering the field will be dug up in a few years as part of the proposed redevelopment of the Truman Waterfront Park. But commissioners eventually agreed with city Director of Community Services Greg Veliz.




“Turf maintenance at all city recreation facilities is essential to provide patrons a safe environment to conduct various recreational activities. Factors such as increased usage and environment conditions have prompted the need to re-sod many facilities,” Veliz wrote in a memo to Vitas which was presented to commissioners at their meeting.




The athletic field has been closed as crews began using an herbicide to kill the existing grass. The area will be graded, then irrigation pipes will be laid and topsoil fill will be put under the new sod. The project is expected to be finished by May 19.


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