Mudhens hoping to repair ball park

Watkins works to bounce back from derecho

The Watkins Baseball Association is looking bounce back from last summer’s derecho with a work day and fund-raiser, to get the ball diamond ready for another season.

Dan Schulte, president of the association, listed damage from the derecho.

  • Approximately 300 foot of outfield fence was blown down, destroying some of the attached signs.One of the pole mounted transformers that power our outfield lights is now laying on the ground behind the first base dugout.
  • The two 3×3 square steel poles holding up the score board are bent so that the score board is now laying on the ground. The scoreboard may need to be replaced.
  • The batting cage has been destroyed.
  • Many shingles are missing from the grand stand.

A work day is planned on May 8, 8 a.m. to rebuild the outfield fence.

He wrote in an email, “The biggest concern is not having the lights repaired, so we can have our July celebration, Norway vs. Watkins baseball game with fireworks display. This one event pays for 90 percent of our funding of the Watkins Mudhens Baseball team. We did not have the fireworks display in 2020 because of Covid 19 concerns, which made the association have a very large financial loss.”

He added that Watkins is unincorporated, so the Watkins Community Baseball Association receives no funding to run our Watkins Mudhens baseball team. Funds are raised by income from the games and donations and the operating of the ballpark is done by volunteers, no one receives any pay.

He added, “Our ball field lighting is very old and does not meet current electrical code. Alliant Energy is unable to remount the transformer to restore the lighting because of safety concerns. Much of the wiring will need to be replaced including a new service line to the lights. Alliant Energy is working on the plan and a cost estimate for getting the lights working again which will probably be much more than are able to pay.”

If you would be willing to make a donation towards the repairs at the ballpark, please send your donation to the Watkins Community Athletic Association, in care of the Watkins Savings Bank/ P.O.Box 140/ Watkins IA 52354.

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