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Ripon leasing Mistlin fields to contractor

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POSTED April 18, 2014 1:20 a.m.

The first step towards establishing a lease agreement with TPR Baseball received approval from the Ripon City Council last Tuesday.

The big concern for elected leaders was in regard as to which party – TPR or the City of Ripon – will be responsible for handling any major damages to the Mistlin Sports Complex.

“The fix-it part in the agreement is vague,” said Councilman Leo Zuber, who noted that the question isn’t if but when disaster such as vandalism might occur to the recently completed facility.

Mistlin now has four new softball fields to go with the two existing baseball diamonds. Recreation Director Kye Stevens and staff have met several times with the TPR folks on the agreement or, rather, an 18-month contract.

Zuber’s understanding is that when it comes to field maintenance, TPR would take care of the daily setup and take down during all of its events while the City would handle mowing and landscaping on a regular basis.

City Attorney Tom Terpstra said the lease agreement – Council voted 5-0 on this first draft – will come back for another vote with the gray areas cleaned up. “Some of your concerns can be addressed on the lease,” he told the council.

As far as fixing any damage, Councilman Dean Uecker said that “the bottom line is this is our property and we have to take care of it.”

 TPR, according to the ‘Condition of Land’ in the agreement, will lease the facility in as-is condition. Once approved, the group can take over at Mistlin as early as July 1.

The city would be responsible for paying all utility charges – electricity, gas, water and sewer – while TPR would have to take care of any telephone or communication services.

 For TPS, the softball fields would be open to youth baseball, girls fast-pitch softball and co-ed and men’s slo-pitch softball teams.

 The baseball fields are for teams age 13 and older.

The City of Ripon, in addition, would have dibs on Mistlin for community events such as the Almond Blossom Festival, Color the Skies, Fourth of July, and the amphitheater every Friday from 5 to 9 p.m., from May through August.

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