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Civic Center strikes out on getting ballfield parking lots paved
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Gravel parking lots at McMinnville Civic Center ballfields are under consideration to be paved. The city’s Parks and Recreation Committee approved a bid from Tinsley Asphalt for $202,323, plus $18 per ton for gravel, to pave the parking lots along Sunset and Club drives and the area around Dottie West and Sam Martin fields. Board of Mayor and Aldermen approval is needed. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

Paving the parking lots around the ballparks at McMinnville Civic Center is out.

Gravel will remain.

McMinnville’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen rejected a measure to hire Tinsley Asphalt to pave the gravel areas at a cost of $211,643.

Mayor Ben Newman immediately expressed his regret to Parks and Recreation Department director Scott McCord.

“Sorry, Scott,” said Newman.

It was a decision that came after Alderman Everett Brock voiced financial concerns.

“I’m going to go on record as opposing this and I’m going to tell you why,” said Brock. “We are down $1 million, mainly because our income has been steady but our expenses have gone up $1 million over this year versus last year. This is something that can wait.”

More than $900,000 of that additional expense was for paving city streets, said Brock. 

“I know this is something that Scott wants and it’s something that everybody here wants, but I’m asking this board to please defer this to next year or maybe a little bit beyond,” he said. “Maybe we can do it right around the time that we open up the Civic Center. Right now, we need to be very cautious as to what we are doing and what we’re spending.” 

Mayor Ben Newman and Alderman Steve Harvey voiced agreement.

Harvey stated, “I’ve been wanting to see those lots and that roadway paved for the last 20 years, but I can’t really disagree with you on this. I think I’ll have to side with Everett on this one. Hopefully, we can get it done soon, but I think we should wait.”

The vote to reject the bid passed unanimously.