On Tuesday, the Turlock City Council will consider an agreement with the National Guard that may jeopardize future Little League games at Soderquist Baseball Field.
In 1960, the City reached a 99-year lease agreement with the National Guard on a five-acre parcel for construction of an armory. Years later, in 1967, the City requested a lease back of an unused portion of the land for recreational purposes, which is now the Soderquist Baseball Field.
In February of this year, the National Guard contacted the City of Turlock to reclaim the land to house an additional guard unit and store additional equipment and vehicles due to stationing changes within the National Guard. According to the staff reports, the National Guard has the right to reclaim the land per their existing lease agreement.
However, the City proposed a compromise that would still allow the Turlock National Little League to use the Soderquist Baseball Field, but also create the additional storage for the National Guard.
On Aug. 21, the City proposed the Military Department modify their existing parking area, and close a portion of Alaska Street between Flower and West Main streets to accommodate the military equipment.
Additionally, the Soderquist Baseball Field parking lot would be designated as the parking area for military personnel’s private vehicles during drill activities. Drills are typically held one weekend per month, along with periodic week-long drills.
According to staff reports, one issue identified is limited parking being available during games if drill activities were occurring at the same time. However, staff believes this issue can be resolved if carefully planned and coordinated.
The agreement would only be temporary, approximately 24 to 36 months, until a more permanent facility is completed in Northern California, according to staff reports. At that time, conditions would return to their current state.
However, the North California relocation has not been officially approved, and if the move were not to take place, the City would have to reopen discussions about the future of Soderquist Baseball Field.
Once the plan between the City and National Guard is solidified, the City would conduct public information meetings and notify surrounding residents about the temporary changes and the impacts of those changes.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the Turlock City Council is also expected to:
- Consider authorizing the addition and initiate hiring recruitment for a Maintenance Worker I within the Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Department.
- Consider approving the recommended Program of Projects for Fiscal Year 2014-15 Federal Transit Administration Urbanized Area Program Funding.
- Consider adding three sections to Turlock Municipal Code regarding Storm Water Management and Urban Runoff Pollution Control, Fire Codes and Administration to reflect changes to the 2013 California Fire Code (CFC), and City of Turlock Paint Bank, respectively.
- In closed session, hold conference with labor negotiators with agency negotiators City Manager Roy W. Wasden and Dave Young, and employee organizations Turlock Associate Police Officers, Turlock City Employee Association, Turlock Firefighters Association Local 2434, and Turlock Management Association- Public Safety.