City Council allows Baseball Boosters to water five days per week for two weeks at Lion’s Stadium
By Paul Myers
EXETER – The summer months are behind us, but the need for water is still very real for the Exeter Baseball Boosters. And they need more than most with renovations to the infield and outfield of Lion’s Stadium starting as early as October.
Ben Weldon represented the boosters at the Sept. 11 Exeter City Council meeting and said they needed two weeks of five day per week watering for 30 minutes twice a day during the seed germination process. Council ultimately agreed to allow for the two weeks of extra watering on a 3-0 vote with mayor Teresa Boyce and vice mayor Mary Waterman absent to attend a League of California Cities conference.
Weldon added the field has seen better days in the summer months, and says water had not been turned on this summer. City manager Adam Ennis says the field is taken care of like any other City park but Weldon says the baseball field’s grass is brown.
“For some reason the water is not being turned on [in the off season],” Weldon said.
Exeter Chief of Police John Hall said one possible reason was a recent rash of vandalism that happened around the city during the summer.
“This summer we’ve had a series of incidents with vandalism taking place out there. Valves were being turned off wires being cut off. Whoever was doing this was intentionally targeting city property…and for some reason it stopped,” Hall said.
Other reasons could have been some miscommunication between the Exeter Baseball Boosters and the City’s public works department. Public Works Director Daymon Qualls said there was a time when his staff did not have a key to the sprinkler timer and had to go through several channels to get access to it.
Ennis added that in the week he spent trying to assess options, he realized there is some overlap between the City’s responsiblities and the responsibilities of the boosters and school.
When it came down to addtional watering days during the seasion the City Council chose the “wait and see” approach. Exeter’s current water conservation ordinance allows for two watering days per week from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. The boosters said they would like to water three days per week to maintain the field. Councilman Jeremy Petty and Gerdes agreed they want to see the field properly watered and maintained but they would rather not allow for additional water until the condition of the field is assessed in the spring.
New council member Barbara Sally weighed in and said she would be uncomfortable allowing one more day when the effects of the drought are still being felt and wet years are far from certain.
Staff also considered the impact of the Greater Kaweah Groundwater Sustainability Agency (Greater Kaweah). According to a staff report the Greater Kaweah has begun to analyze what water conservation requirements will look like in order to meet state sustainability standards. “It is anticipated over he next couple of years that additional detailed requirement for water usage will be developed and established that will restrict allowable water usage on a regional basis,” the report stated.