Plans for a sports complex near the Twisp Municipal Airport may finally move forward with an assist from the Methow Valley School District.
The Town of Twisp has been developing plans for the park for a couple of years, with funding help from the state Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO). But construction bids twice exceeded the town’s budget for the project, which is to include a soccer field and baseball/softball fields.
The second bid, received in May 2019, exceeded available funds by $64,442. The project’s cost was to be covered by a $450,000 state RCO grant, plus $50,000 in town funds.
At last week’s town council meeting, the council endorsed a proposed partnership with the Methow Valley School District, which would chip in $65,000 — on the condition that the project include a baseball field with 90-foot base paths, and not just a softball field with 60-foot base paths.
For that to happen, the town also needs more help from the RCO. At the March 24 meeting, the council approved an application for $170,000 additional funding, based on revised engineered estimates. Mayor Soo Ing-Moody said there is a “high likelihood” that the request will be approved, based on communications with the RCO.
“We are extremely thankful for this very mutually beneficial partnership to leverage local tax dollars to benefit our greater community and those we serve,” Ing-Moody said in an email after the meeting.
If the grant application is approved and construction bids are favorable, work on the project would start in 2021.
Future phases of the sports complex — for now unfunded — may include another baseball/softball field, another soccer field, a tennis court, a half-basketball court, a playground, a concession stand and restrooms.
In other business the council:
• Approved a proclamation declaring Twisp “an American Legion town.”
• Approved revisions to its personnel manual related to policies affecting employees during emergencies and disasters.
• Approved contracts with the State Department of Commerce giving the town access to the final two state-appropriated funding amounts for the new civic building and emergency operations center.
• Approved an application for a Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Aviation Runway Pavement Maintenance planning grant of $13,348, including a request that the airport pilots group provide $703.50 in matching funds.
• Discussed a proposal to temporarily waive late fees associated with town-provided utilities, to accommodate residents who might be financially affected by the COVID-19 emergency. The proposal is expected to be discussed again at the council’s April 14 meeting.