meet to discuss sports complex issue
Cathy May, Contributing Writer
Prior to the regular Versailles Town Board meeting on August 9,
the Board met with the South Ripley School Board regarding the sports
complex issue. Also attending were Superintendent Ted Ahaus, Attorney
Larry Eaton and Clerk-Treasurer Ted Spurlock.
Superintendent Ahaus started the meeting by saying they were caught
off guard by the proposal presented by Jerry Gilpin. [Editors
note: Gilpin proposed putting a sports complex on land next to the
South Ripley High School which the school is buying on contract].
Ahaus said Gilpin gave a five minute presentation to the school
board and had no official capacity to make the presentation. It
was a more complex issue than he presented, said Ahaus.
President of the Versailles Town Board Sue Meisberger said, We
have 50 acres at the lagoon that is no longer used. We have to drain
the lagoons and clean up the property according to IDEM guidelines.
So it is still an option.
Ahaus explained the 30 acres they are buying from Grover Miller
next to the school was purchased for future use by the school but
without a specific need at the time. Nothing in the present
building project is planned for that land.
Most of our bus owners are seniors. One option is to use part
of that land for a bus barn where we will eventually maintain all
the buses. Maybe in the future the land where the Administrative
Building is located becomes more valuable to the town and we would
have to move it to that property, said Ahaus.
If we purchased the property with taxpayers money then turn
around and lease it out long term for $1.00, some taxpayers might
be upset about that, continued Ahaus.
Its the town boards responsibility to decide where
the sports complex should go and tell the park board. Unless we
have a request from this town board, we don't want to get in the
middle. We dont want to negotiate with an independent group,
Larry Eaton said, I wouldnt advise the town to put their
assets on someone elses land.
Ahaus concluded by saying, There is no one here that doesnt
want to see a sports complex. No one just threw up their hands and
said no way to the proposal. We will certainly consider any proposal
that comes directly from the town board.