Wentworth asks for funding help for stadium upgrades

Wentworth asks for funding help for stadium upgrades

Image Credit: File

New Philadelphia City Schools Superintendent Amy Wentworth appeared at the New Philadelphia City Council meeting March 14 to ask for financial help to fund improvements at Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium. The city owns the stadium but leases it to the school, with an agreement to make two tracks available free for public use.

“New Philadelphia City Schools is firmly committed to ensuring that this facility remains safe and reliable for our students, our families and the entire Quaker community to enjoy,” said Wentworth. “Right now, though, we need some help.”

According to Wentworth, the school district has spent nearly $1.8 million over the past four fiscal years maintaining the stadium. Nevertheless, the track needs to be resurfaced, the pole vault pit and standards need to be replaced and the finish line camera system needs to be upgraded. The total cost of the project is a little over $346,740. With a school commitment of $184,000 and donations of $70,000, they are short by $51,700.

“Since the track is used and enjoyed by both the school district and city residents, we are asking the city of New Philadelphia to appropriate $50,000 to help bridge that gap,” Wentworth said.

The track will receive a new, red Beynon 100% polyurethane surface, which Wentworth said is not the top tier but also not the bottom.

“When we looked at the options available, it was very important to us that we treat all our athletes the same,” she said, adding the bottom tier track would have been substandard to the football field and tracks at other schools in the area.

The finance committee will consider the request, but Wentworth was advised that state law requires appropriations to be finalized by April 1.

Reports to council

Service Director Ron McAbier said the costs of asphalt for paving increased from $63 per ton last year to $78 per ton, saying if the city does the same amount of paving this year as last year, it would cost about $127,000 more.

Safety Director Greg Popham reported on two promotions within the police department: Tessa Pahovy was promoted to captain and Kurt Olson to sergeant.

Law Director Marvin Fete said he and Josh Mathias, the city building and zoning code administrator, successfully executed the city’s first-ever search warrant under the building housing code last week. “It’s critical to be able to tear down these houses and go into these houses that are being used for drugs in a lot of cases,” said Fete. “Tuscarawas County ranks 18th in drug overdose mortality rates out of 88 counties, so we've got a serious drug problem in this area.”

Fete said the building code gives the city a third tool to use as it attempts to tear down dilapidated and abandoned buildings. The International Property Maintenance code, whereby property owners can be held criminally liable, and the fire code are the other two.

Fete said he hopes to begin a program where owners of abandoned properties would be required to register them with the city, as well as legislation which would require insurance companies to pay for razing homes declared total losses when there are no plans to rehab or tear down the structures.

Councilman Dean Holland said the Health Board met Wednesday March 9 and discussed environmental issues and a recently completed animal exposure survey. He also said anyone needing the second injection or booster for COVID should make an appointment with the health department.

LEGISLATION

Council passed:

—an emergency resolution approving a second application for a grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to fund a trail connecting downtown to the Kent State Tuscarawas campus

—an emergency resolution to apply for the Ohio Middle Eastern Government's Association Omega regional transportation planning organization’s capital allocation program.


Beacon Subscribe