The city of Burkburnett will pay an outside consulting firm nearly $45,000 for a study, to determine if they should bring a baseball/softball complex to town.
City Commissioner Josh Andrajack said the group, "Conventions Sports & Leisure" (CSL), will be paid with extra money from sales tax revenue. "They look at the economics of: would the project pay for itself, would it be profitable, what would the residual effects be, how many jobs would it create in the area, do they anticipate hotels would be built, more restaurants, etc." said Andrajack. "Ultimately, what kind of revenue would it generate for the city of Burkburnett."
Still, shocked residents said they think there are bigger problems in the city, the money could be used to address.
"Of course that is recreational activity and there's going to be a benefit, but I think there's more important things that go first," said one resident. "I think a sports complex would be great, at some time in the future. I just think there's a lot of other issues to address at this time," said another resident.
Everyone's first concern was why the funds will not be used to help with the city's water problem. However, Andrajack said sales tax revenue cannot be used for that.
"We can only use those water revenues...to operate the city's water department," said Andrajack. "Those sales tax dollars from the general fund side cannot be utilized for water and sewer."
Andrajack added that these funds are best used for one-time projects, like this one.
If the CSL team determines the baseball/softball complex would be suited in Burkburnett, they will also suggest to city leaders where it could go, what it would look like, and how much it will cost.
Then, City Council would decide if it would be funded through the city, a private investor, or a joint effort.
CSL expects to have the study completed in four months.