Bryan City Council Hears Recommendation For Directional Lighting Of Soccer Field

The chair of the Bryan Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Ms. Tami Roushia-Bergman, read a letter to members of the Bryan City Council at their February 9 regular session. The letter reintroduced the issue of lighting at the Bryan Soccer Field, and shed new light upon the lighting issue. “We as the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board,” she began, “…feel it is our responsibility to be stewards of our park land, and do what we think is best for all citizens of the Bryan Community. We also feel that in some situations, such as this project, it is our responsibility to do the research on the project and make some educated recommendations to Council, so that they may act upon it. Everyone on this Board takes these responsibilities very seriously, and we act on behalf of the citizens of our community.”

Continuing with the letter, Ms. Roushia-Bergman said, “On March 17, 2008, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board brought a proposal to Council called, ‘Soccer Field Improvements’. In this project, one of the items that was not supported by the Park Board at that time was sports field lights. Over the past couple of months, the field lights issue has resurfaced. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board has met multiple times with the Soccer Association to discuss the idea of adding sports field lighting on the soccer field. From these meetings and discussions with Bryan Municipal Utilities (BMU), the Bryan Fire Chief and the Musco (Sports) Lighting Company, we have developed a recommendation from the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board for Council.”

“After spending some time researching this issue,” she continued, “…the Park Board would like to recommend that the addition of sports field lights for the soccer field be approved by Council. The money needed for the lighting system and installation of the lighting system will be raised and paid for by the Bryan Soccer Association. The Park Board would like to stipulate that the lighting system be made up of LED fixtures. The LED fixtures are more energy efficient, and will reduce maintenance costs. LED lights provide directional lighting, which will illuminate the field for players, but also eliminate disruptive glare in nearby homes or housing additions, and preserve the darkness of the skies above. The Park Board truly feels that these lights are needed for the continued improvement in the local soccer program by allowing coaches to better utilize our facilities, and give more players in our community increased playing time and game exposure. We also feel these will be a great improvement to an already excellent facility, and our park system.”

There are an estimated 400-500 kids of all ages currently involved with the various soccer programs, and with field time a daylight-only prospect, that field time is valuable. Lighting would help to optimize that time. Mr. Ben Dominique, the Director of the Bryan Parks and Recreation Department, said, “Some of the concern is that in the fall months, they really struggle to play games into the evening. Most teams that come will bring a Varsity team and a JV team, and the JV teams are getting maybe a half in.” As far as completion of the project goes, Mr. Dominique added, “In a perfect world, I would love to have lights for this soccer season. In a realistic world, I think you’re probably looking at late fall, maybe even early spring next year.” Electricity to power the lights would be provided as a free service of BMU.

This was considered to be a first reading of the proposed project, and while no formal legislation was introduced on this evening, a resolution to move forward with the project will likely appear on the agenda of the next meeting. Mr. Dominique reiterated that the LED lighting systems are a directional-type illumination system, and said that there will probably be concerns, especially from the Greystone Drive area. He asked that anyone with questions or concerns contact the Soccer Association, or the Bryan Parks and Recreation Department at 419-633-6030.

Council approved several measures on the evening, beginning with Ordinance 2-2017 which transferred $400,000 from the One Percent Income Tax Fund to the General Fund, and $84,681.80 from the 1/2 Percent Income Tax to the Wastewater Treatment Fund. Ordinance 3-2017 amended a 67-year old codification of Section 763.01 of the Codified Ordinances, as enacted by Ordinance 78-1950. Since the days of the beginning of the Korean War, the cost to register a vehicle as a taxicab in Bryan was $5.00. With the passage of Ordinance 3-2017, that cost becomes $25.00. Also amended were requirements for vehicle inspection, an Ohio operator’s license, and a criminal background check.

Resolution 3-2017 authorizes Mayor Douglas Johnson to represent Bryan as a delegate member of the Board of Directors of the Ohio Municipal Electric Association. Resolution 4-2017 authorizes bids to be taken for the 2017 Asphalt Program. City Engineer Brian Wieland said that some of the estimated $300,000 for the annual project would come from the Gas Tax Fund, which has not been used for a while. Resolution 5-2017, the 2017 Pavement Marking Program, was also approved for bid solicitation. The estimated cost of this annual program is $85,000.

Council also approved Resolution 6-2017, soliciting bids for the project to be known as the 2017 Street Improvement of Mayberry Drive from Newdale Drive to the YMCA Entrance. “We’re shooting for around a $250,000 cost,” said Mr. Wieland, adding, “We want to shoot for bidding this now, for construction in April or May. Our goal…is to have it done by the Friday before Memorial Day.”

Council gave their consent to a building permit for the Bryan Activate Health and Wellness Center at the New Era Ohio facility at 520 West Mulberry Street. The 2,077 square foot renovation is estimated to cost $202,500.

In matters of personnel, Council accepted the resignations of police officer Morgan Hughes and crossing guard JoAnn Roehrs, as well as Wastewater Plant Superintendent, Ric Homier. A 29-year employee of the City of Bryan, Homier’s resignation, effective April 1, was accepted with every Councilor expressing their regrets and their appreciation for a job well done.

Council approved the hire of Jesse Barrera as a full time police officer and Kendra MacIsaac as a Vehicle Operator Trainee with the Recycling Department. Council also agreed to retain Jim Tucker for the remainder of the school year in the position of crossing guard, and moved Josh Harper to the post of Class III Wastewater Operator.

Prior to adjournment, Council retired into executive session to discuss the acquisition of property.

Timothy Kays can be reached at tim@thevillagereporter.com

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