The future of Little League baseball games at Soderquist Field is currently hanging in the balance as the site is the center of an ongoing discussion between the City of Turlock and the State Military Department from which the City leases the property.
The Turlock Armory is in need of additional space due to stationing changes within the National Guard that will increase the number of military vehicles and guard units at the Armory. In 1960, the City of Turlock leased a five acre parcel of land to the Turlock Armory for a 99 year agreement. Several years later, the City requested to lease a portion of that land back for recreational use which has since become Soderquist Baseball Field. Initially interested in reclaiming Soderquist Field for additional space, the National Guard has proposed a plan to the City of Turlock - on which the Council will vote on Tuesday - that allows games to continue at Soderquist but closes down a portion of Alaska Street between the two facilities for additional parking.
Parking issues are anticipated due to the Armory's drill schedule, which typically occur on weekends and allows military personnel to park their private vehicles in the Soderquist parking lot. If necessary, Little League games could be moved to nearby facilities, such as the Regional Sports Complex or Pedretti Park, according to Director of Parks, Recreation, and Public Facilities Allison Van Guilder.
"It will come down to more of a scheduling issue if anything," said Van Guilder.
The City and Armory intend to disclose schedules in advance in order to avoid unintended conflicts.
While no homes are anticipated to be directly impacted by the closure of Alaska Street to accommodate the Armory's vehicle storage, locals may need to rework their driving routes.
"Based on what we know of this neighborhood, we don't anticipate a significant amount of pushback due to the road closure," said Van Guilder.
The arrangement is temporarily slated to last between 24 and 36 months as there are plans to complete a permanent Northern California facility which would house the additional National Guard units and equipment, though it has not been officially approved.
Once a plan is solidified between the City and the Armory the City will be conducting public information meetings to notify surrounding residents about any potential impacts.
Other items slated to be discussed at the Tuesday City Council meeting, include:
• The Council will consider approving the hire of a full-time maintenance position for the Public Safety Facility. Currently, one fulltime maintenance employee and four part-time employees maintain the facility. However, with the high rate of turnover with part-time positions and the significant amount of time it takes to perform background checks in order for an employee to work at the police and fire department facility, the City is requesting the additional full-time position. The part-time positions would continue to fill remaining needs at the facility.
• The City will discuss projects for the 2014-2015 fiscal year as it pertains to Federal Transit Administration Urbanized Area Program Funding. Major projects include transit operating assistance, purchase of rolling stock, transit support equipment and the second construction phase of the Turlock Regional Transfer Center Facility. Under FTA regulations the City is required to hold a public hearing for comment concerning proposed FTA transit projects.
The Turlock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room of City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.