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Council Looks to Approve Proposal to Begin Work on Multi-Million Field Turf Outdoor Facility at The Bridge

June 25, 2021
If you are not already impressed with what The Bridgeport Indoor Sports and Recreation Complex has to offer, perhaps what Bridgeport City Council will consider at its Monday meeting may turn the trick.
The city’s governing body will be asked to consider and accept a proposal from Field Turf for a multi-purpose artificial surface field. The amount being considered for the entire project is not to exceed $2.5 million.
It will be part of the 7 p.m. meeting at the Bridgeport Municipal Complex. The meeting is open to the public.
While the project is not guaranteed even if approved as numbers have to work, the plan is to find a way to move forward. 
The field will be a large facility outdoors. As for its location, it will be directly behind the existing building with access from multiple points, including the indoor artificially surfaced area.
“It’s a little bit oversized for a normal field. It’s actually bigger than Wayne Jamison Field so we’ve been working on the design which includes a soccer field, football and lacrosse,” said Shuttleworth. “We’re planning on having one corner a slightly different color to allow for different levels of youth baseball to utilize the space as well.”
For those wondering, there will be a portable fence and portable mound to use. Shuttleworth said it would provide another much-needed field site in the city for girls’ softball, Little League, and other leagues that can utilize base paths that feature lengths of 60 to 70 feet.
“Council will look at the cost and make sure the money is efficiently used,” said City Manager Randy Wetmore. “As is everything else, this is funded through the 1 percent sales tax in the city through Home Rule.”
Another key item involves establishing an ordinance relating to changing a speed limit on Center Court from 25 miles per hour to 15 miles per hour. The reason an ordinance is needed is due to city regulations do not allow the speed under that except in designated zones such as school and work zones and other area that may apply.
City Engineer Beth Fox said this is different than standard residential streets, which is why Council can and will be considering it. It is part of a planned unit development, which comes with its own guidelines and restrictions. The request is being done on behalf of the development, which Fox said is a retirement community, after the submission of a petition to the city.
The meeting, which will be the last regularly scheduled meeting for outing members Robert “Bob” Greer and Dustin Vincent, who did not run for re-election, will include a payment to A.M. Higley of Cleveland for work on The Bridge. The general contractor’s May payment is for $75,018.24.
There are two items involving pay. The first is the standard issue involving grade/step salary schedules for city employees done after budgets are approved.
The second item involves increasing pay to members of the Bridgeport Utility Board. If approved, the compensation will go from $50 to $100 per month for four board members and an increase from $100 to $150 per month for one licensed professional engineer. It would be effective July 1.
Council will also certify the results of the June 8 election and hear a report regarding Bridgeport Fire Civil Service. The meeting will include an invocation by Nathaniel Lutyens with Young Life, as well a public forum for anyone wishing to address the city’s governing body.
The meeting also will feature reports by Wetmore and Mayor Andy Lang.
Editor's Note: Top photo shows Bridgeport Parks and Recreation Director Joe Shuttleworth, while the bottom photo shows City Engineer Beth Fox and City Manager Randy Wetmore.