ST. GEORGE — Youth baseball players in Santa Clara will soon have brighter fields on which to throw pitches and bat homeruns.
During a Santa Clara City Council work meeting on Wednesday, the city’s parks director announced it will be able to proceed with new lighting for the Snow Canyon Little League fields after being awarded over $100,000 in grant funds.
According to parks director Brad Hays, the Little League fields were built by volunteers in the 1980s and wooden poles have been used to support lighting fixtures since the construction.
The city was preparing to replace a number of the 12 lights around the fields and asked the power company to test the poles’ integrity. Ten of the poles had since experienced decay.
“It was really unexpected,” Hays said. “We didn’t know that the poles were bad. They looked fine, but when they tested them — they were decayed inside.”
Santa Clara began to assess the costs and attempted to raise the necessary funds to provide new lighting for the teams that play on the fields. Hays said the estimated cost is about $150,000.
The city appeared before the Washington County Tourism Board at one of its two yearly meetings and explained their situation and needs. The board granted Santa Clara $115,000 for the project, and the city is working to obtain another grant through the Major League Baseball for the remaining funds, which is estimated to be $39,000.
The city is hoping to collaborate with the Little League teams while applying for the grant, Hays said. The grant is designed to get more kids involved at the Little League level and could possibly require the league’s financial statements and player participation documentation.
Hays said residents can expect the lights to be installed and ready for use by March. The city is also using the opportunity to make a move to LED lights instead of the high-intensity discharge lamps it was using before. This change, he said, will save the city about 50-80% of the utilities the fields currently use.
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