Canyon baseball complex nears completion - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Canyon baseball complex nears completion

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Canyon, TX - Baseball fans in Canyon now have a brand-new facility to play in - but getting it done took a little financial finesse.

In today's (Jun. 15) meeting, city commissioners heard a progress report on the Kent Johnson Memorial Baseball Complex - and progress has been good.

The initial budget for the four-field complex was about $600,000 - but the lowest bid was a little over a million.  So after weighing the long-term benefits against the short-term costs, the city took a financial leap of faith the bring the project to fruition.

"You really have one chance to do something right, and that's the first time you do it," says City Manager Randy Criswell, "After that you're either fixing it, or you're retrofitting it, or you're regretting it. And so the City Commission said, 'Let's just do it. It's over our budget, it's a million-dollar project, we have a little over half of that in the budget, but let's do it anyway.'"

Much of the cost was provided by the Canyon Economic Development Corporation, which is a "Type-B" EDC, meaning they can fund projects that generate jobs, benefit retail, or raise quality of life.  The Kent Johnson Memorial Complex was considered a "quality of life" project, and the EDC provided $850,000 to fund the complex and two other projects.

"Over the years we were able to bank about $400,000, budgeting a little every year and then putting it away, and that rate ... we'd still be dreaming about this project," said Criswell.

The EDC gets its money from sales tax revenue, so property taxes are not affected by their decisions.