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Liberal City Commission Approves Sale of 7th and Western Property, Construction of New Ballfields

In a Special Meeting Wednesday evening, Jeff Parsons,Economic Development Director for the City of Liberal, was before the Liberal City Commission and said that the City had been approached by Price Properties LLC of Birmingham Alabama,with an offer to purchase the City's property at 7th and Western. The parcel is appoximately 11.38 acres and currently is used as a softball and baseball complex.

Price Properties, LLC stated that they would like to convert the site into a small retail development. The development would begin with one retailer, with plans for future development.

Parsons stated that the proceeds from the sale of the property would be used to fund the construction of at least 7 new softball and baseball fields. Currently there are only 5 fields at the 7th and Western site. The construction of the new ball fields would begin this summer with a goal to begin next years softball and baseball seasons on the new fields.

Parsons reminded the Commission that while some of the details of the agreement with Price Properties,LLC were now public, that both staff and the City Commission needed to continue to honor Price's request in certain respects as the City had not been completely released from their obligations of the Confidentiality Agreement.

The City Commission voted unanimously to approve the Purchase Agreement between the City of Liberal and Price Proerties,LLC.

In a statement after the vote, Mayor Denoyer commended City staff, Jeff Parsons, Mark Hall, and Chris Ford for their work on the project, and for thinking "Outside The Box"in putting the project together. He also thanked Price Properties, LLC for their investment in the City in this win/win endeavor. The Mayor stated that for years the City has been looking at upgrading, improving, and adding baseball and softball fields to the City, but due to lack of funding, were unable to do so. He said with the sale of the property, and the investment of Price Properties,LLC, the City will not only be able to add at least 7 new, state of the art ball fields, but to also get additional retail development. He assured the community that the City of Liberal always has, and always will have a commitment to the youth and adult recreation programs in Liberal, and will continue to look for ways to improve and enhance these programs.

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tholdeman 07/16/2014 10:18 PM
I appreciate the promise of new softball fields, I just hope the city makes good on that promise. However, the secrecy surrounding this new venture has stirred up quite a few people and when I say people Im referring to the very many adults who play softball. If these new fields are built I hope the adults are not left out because seems we are a last thought next to the young kids and youth. If these fields are going to be built as the city says then I say great I cant wait. If not then the city better prepare for more crime and less support from your voters. I dont think the way this was handled was by any means fair to those who live, vote, and play ball in Liberal, but I guess my opinion is just that an opinion.
mrklozar 07/16/2014 11:40 PM
Pretty damn shady if you ask me and I dont even live in Liberal, but I do play softball on occasion in Liberal and also work there. The city and board members wouldve been better off by keeping the public and there opinions involved at all times, instead of sneaking around about it. If the fields are to be replaced as you say, then why be sneaky about it? The city couldve gained back some respect and interest from the public by being straight foreword! I just hope the construction of the new fields actually happen!
Ecam52 07/17/2014 12:33 AM
I really think the city of liberal will sweep softball under the rug like they do everything else its sad that we nothing else to do in This town but play city league sports, no malls, no quality restaurant. We drive 58 miles north to garden city to do any thing these days! You hear commercial about shopping in liberal, spend your money here haha thats a joke! We spend 6 to 700 a team to play softball and we win a t-shirt! But we play because we love it! Its hard for us to believe they will actually build us a new complex! We cant even get real doors in the womens bathrooms at the complex now! Shower curtains is what they gave us, and we complained a lot to get that! Dont hold your breath softball family! I will believe when I see it!
cmb 07/17/2014 8:31 AM
I as well hope you actually do build these fields. Not just for the adults but also the children that are learning a lot of things from this sport. I really hope that they do get built or like previous people have already said crime rates are going to boost. Also not only will these kids have nothing to do but get in trouble do drugs and have more pregnant teens. do we want to take away anymore from the community. There already isnt anything to do here. I dont only speak for myself when I type this but we all look forward to this time of year every year! we love our friends and our softball families. I have only been playing for 5 years but I have met and became friends with so many cause of this sport. This is really the only time I truly get out. so please keep your word as mother and resident of this town for the past 30 yrs. lets keep at least one thing that is promised to us!
kolivas14 07/17/2014 9:57 AM
I agree with every one of the previous comments. Whats gonna happen to all that revenue every year from the softball players when they dont rebuild our fields? If everything works out how they say it will and the city keeps their word about building a new complex. Great! That would be awesome! But Ill believe it when I see it. People started asking questions and trying to get answers and all they are met with was defensive and downright rude answers. Everytime we ask where exactly they plan on building these new fields, they either avoid the question altogether or in at least two instances, when someone called Kory Krause and asked him, he hung up on that person TWICE! If there really is plans in the works for a new complex, why not be open and honest about it. Shoot, Id be bragging to anybody that would listen if we had something like that in the works. Truth is, I believe that Ecam is right - there are no plans for a new complex and softball will be swept under the rug. And the approx $12,000 a year that the softball players contribute to the city for just a measley t-shirt will be going out of town just like our retail dollars do.
KSal 07/17/2014 10:02 AM
I dont like the way it seemed it was kept quiet until word started spreading like wildfire. How come we never heard anything about it before now? Was there not a vote the selling of the land? Shouldnt there have been a plan in place for a new complex at that time? Just seems a lil shady for no one to know anything about it. For Liberals sake I sure hope they do build a more modern complex for softball, something similar to Legends Park in Dodge City. If not there will be a lot of upset adults with nothing to do in Liberal!
bigbaddad 07/17/2014 12:19 PM
I have lived in this town for many years and it breaks my heart that the same people who say there is nothing to do, nowhere to eat, shop, etc are so against opportunities to grow and improve Liberal whenever opportunities come about. Replacing 5 tired and worn-out ball fields with 7 brand new modern ball fields, while growing business and valuation at the same time seems like a win-win to me. A new ball field complex has long been on the Citys wish list, where it has remained due to lack of funding. Any entity willing to make a substantial investment in Liberal should have say-so in how they wish things to be handled, including location and a reasonable request for a Confidentiality Agreement to be honored by the City. As to the claims of the City being shady, this is ridiculous! The integrity shown by this City Commission is admirable! If they would not have lived up to the Confidentiality Agreement, then the investor would probably walk and any other entities looking to locate here would forget about Liberal. Dont get me wrong, public officials are and should be held accountable while being informative as they are able, but at the same time, there needs to be a certain level of public trust for them to do the right thing, as they earned the votes for their positions. We have elections if they should not live up to our expectations. The City has made big promises, but I am proud they are taking a chance on a better future for our City. A BIG HATS OFF AND THANK YOU, City Commissioners and Staff!
Ecam52 07/17/2014 3:53 PM
I said Im all for adding new business.. Me big daddy, but several years ago they built the 8th street complex and I was supposed to be for softball n baseball, still there has net been a softball game played there.. And what is there to do in tho town? When I was a kid we had a skating rink, we had a drive inn theater, we had dances at the youth center... We have nothing now!! Nothing!!!! City parks and Rec is the only thing that provides anything for our youth and adults.. Its pretty sad that we have to go to Garden city to do anything anymore.. Pretty sure we will probably be playing softball there to... 07/18/2014 10:22 PM
Been up 83 lately? Slow going in Garden City with all the construction. What they need to do is make 83 4 lanes to make it easier to shop Garden City. Just a thought.

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