Saturday night we had our grand opening for BG Products Veterans Sports Complex. It was a great success and Butler won 28 to 10. During the grand opening ceremonies a lot of groups and people were thanked and recognized for all the work that they put into this project. But, tonight I'd like to recognize and thank some of the people who have done a lot of work but have not been sufficiently recognized.
When the preferred site was chosen for the new stadium project, it became necessary to secure the land to build on. So first of all I would like to recognize and thank the American Legion executive board of 2009. This group of leaders saw this stadium project not only as a great community project but also as a chance to help the American Legion post with the issues they had with their golf course and with their finances. By leasing the land to the city for 100 years to build the stadium, they not only partnered with the three entities that built the stadium but they secured help in developing and selling the rest of their land as well as a source of income. These were tough decisions to make. It took a lot of foresight community pride and courage to make them and I thank them and applaud them. I'd like to recognize city manager Herb Llewellyn and city attorney Jim Murfin for their work and efforts in securing this land and securing this lease with the American Legion. They did a lot of hard work.
Things changed along the way and the Education Facilities Authority of Butler County decided to purchase the land from the American Legion rather than build the stadium on leased land. The lease provided for that, so the land was sold. After the land was secured, a lot of work had to go into making this project happen before the construction company even got on site. I want to recognize the city staff that worked so hard for so many months to make this project happen. They did things like reroute creeks to help the drainage on this property, clear out the creeks and clean them up so they would flow and look better, and tear out old fences to clean up right of ways. They have mowed this property to keep it looking nice for the communnity. City staff also did all of the preliminary work to get this property buildable and sellable. This included all of the work with the KDHE and the EPA for applications, permitting, and approvals. They did of a lot of work and provided a lot of information to the design team for the civil work and for the structural work. Then they also did a lot of the actual construction and installation of infrastructure for the project. City staff has also been very instrumental in getting the community playground project completed by securing the grant money and scheduling and providing labor and workforce for the installation. I can't name every city staff member that has worked on this project and on this property so I'll just recognize now the department heads and their staffs for all the hard work they've done, city engineer Scott Rickard, public works director Brad Meyer, and public utilities director Kurt Bookout. I'd also like to recognize the city administration the police department fire department and the parks department for all their hard work that they've done with this project.
Page 2 of 2 - The money to fund all of this work is taxpayer money so I'd like to recognize now the citizens of El Dorado who have supported this project and allowed this work to happen. Hand in hand with that, I'd like again to thank and recognize city staff for the budgeting process. We've been able to fund this work and the city's contribution to this stadium project without raising taxes over my term as commissioner. All of this hard work and all these hard decisions have helped put a new beautiful face on the west part of El Dorado. They have also done the groundwork for opening up this parcel of property that's inside the city limits and made it ready for future economic development. The second parcel of American Legion land has already been sold for new student housing and that project is already complete and occupied.
Lastly I'd like to recognize and personally thank the city commission and previous city Commissioner Linda Clark for their support of this project all the way through.
- El Dorado City Commissioner Shane Krause