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  • Last modified 67 days ago (Aug. 9, 2018)

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Lights installed at ballfield

Staff writer

Local parks and baseball fields provide great family entertainment, but it is more difficult when the facilities are not up to date.

For Florence city councilman Trayce Warner, that means getting new baseball field lights at minimal cost to residents.

“Our plan is to have everything complete and all new lights in time for Labor Day weekend,” Warner said.

The new lights include 14 pairs of 1,500-watt bulbs. There is another light on a separate switch to light the infield after night games.

Lights are an especially big problem in the city of Florence, resident Loretta Looney said.

Right now the only things for kids to do after it gets dark is to go home or roam the streets, she said.

“You wonder why we have vandalism, heck, because we don’t have any lights on Main St.,” Looney said.

If the city isn’t improved with the current generation then future ones will have less desire to come back, she said.

“I would love to see the lights happen in town simply because it’ll give the kids something to do,” Looney said.

New lights are not the only upgrades to athletic facilities, Warner said. In addition, the city’s local gymnasium is getting new flooring.

“The city inherited that from the USD-408 a few years back, and we use it as a community building,” Warner said.

A problem came about recently when there was a leak in the gym, leaving the floor in need of repair, she said.

“It’s ours but it doesn’t get used as much as we’d like it to,” Warner said. “Of course, right now you can’t use it because the floor’s all buckled up.”

According to Warner, between donations and funds earned by facility rentals, the lights required no money from taxes. Similarly, the gymnasium was funded from renting out the space and donations. Other funds for the gym floor were provided through insurance.

Resident Brandon Wyss is willing to pay more in taxes if that’s what is needed, but the alternative is appreciated, he said.

“If it’s coming back to the community, and getting put back into the town, I’m all for it,” Wyss said.

Wyss’ family has been living in Florence for five generations and he wants that history to continue.

One of the things he fondly looks back on from childhood is having a place to go play sports.

“You strap on a pair of shoulder pads and go have fun and Friday Night Lights,” Wyss said.

Last modified Aug. 9, 2018

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