Janesville61.4°

Council approves lease on batting cages

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GINA R. HEINE
April 29, 2008
— Janesville Youth Baseball will operate the batting cages, formerly Swingers, at 937 S. Jackson St., after the city council unanimously approved a one-year lease with the organization Monday night.

In March, the council approved the city’s purchase of the property and equipment, which totaled $138,000. Leisure Services Director Mike Williams recommended approval of the “mutually beneficial” lease with the baseball organization, according his council memo.


Williams noted these benefits:


-- It is desirable to have the facility operating rather than closed, which would subject it to vandalism and becoming a potential eyesore.


-- It should be operated as a recreational facility for youth and adults because it is the only batting cage in Janesville.


-- The lease will give Janesville Youth Baseball an opportunity to generate money to support its expansion plans at the Youth Sports Complex.


Janesville Youth Baseball Board member Steve Ellis told the council the group has plans to spruce up the area, including painting and landscaping.


The one-year lease has the option of renewal, and the city will be responsible for mowing the grass, utility expenses and property insurance—annual estimated maintenance costs of $3,000.


Those would be offset, however, with the baseball organization paying 10 percent of its gross revenue, estimated to be $2,000. The organization also would pay the city $1,400 in billboard rental annually.


The property includes .9 acres; a 1,000 square-foot structure; a 24-car parking lot, and batting cage equipment and supplies, including overhead lights.


The city considered operating the facility as part of leisure services, but additional staff time is not available, Williams said.


“Long term, it may be in our mutual best interest to relocate the batting cages to the Youth Sports Complex,” Williams said.



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