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New lights to brighten Vets ball fields
Lighting a long-time goal for the city
vets park ball field lights
The lights at Al Burns Field, located in Veterans Memorial Park, will be replaced as part of a city project to improve the lighting at all the ball fields at Vets. Lighting for the tennis courts and parking lots will also be addressed. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

The ball fields, tennis courts and parking lots at Veterans Memorial Park will soon be brighter after the Great Bend City Council Monday night approved purchasing and installing new lights at the facilities. It is a $519,820 project with the lights bought from Musco Sports Lighting, Oskaloosa, Iowa, for $454,000 and installed by P&S Electric, Great Bend, for $65,820.

“Replacement of the sports field lighting at Veteran’s Park has been a need for several years,” said Public Lands Director Scott Keeler. “When developing the City’s strategic planning, the council realized its importance and made it the number one objective under its goal six, Community Quality of Life and Amenities ‘to improve the quality of life for citizens and develop and maintain city and area amenities (parks and recreation; natural resources including trails, biking, and natural areas; community events and festivals).’”

To accomplish this goal, Keeler said his staff utilized Sourcewell, an authorized cooperative purchasing agreement to procure Musco Sports Lighting systems, poles and component enclosures “at the guaranteed lowest price.” The lights are metal halide technology, which mirror the lighting at the sports complex and come with a 10-year warranty.  

“We then advertised for bids for the installation of the lighting system and all components,” he said. They received two bids, with P&S Electric providing the low bid.  

“The project was initially planned to be a multi-year endeavor beginning with the softball fields in 2020 and then do Al Burns Field as funding became available,” Keeler said. “However, favorable pricing has created an opportunity for us to purchase and install the lighting for both the softball fields, Al Burns and both fields’ parking lots.”

In addition, the Great Bend Recreation Commission has provided a letter of intent to contribute $48,000 to the purchase of lighting for the west tennis courts.

Additionally, as an incentive to purchase, Musco is providing free-of-charge MuscoVision Automated Sports Broadcasting, Keeler said. This is normally a $10,000 package.

This is a camera system which allows for live streaming of the sporting events and offers a subscription package that will generate revenues for the city. The intent would be to install this on field one at the Great Bend Sports Complex on South McKinley. 

In 2018, the city transferred $250,000 to reserves to begin funding for this project, Keeler said. They transferred an additional $100,000 in 2019 and planned another $100,000 in 2020. Additionally, in 2019, they transferred $125,000 in unencumbered funds.

In other words, the money is already set aside for the project. 

The work should be completed by the end of August or early September.