Voters to decide on Gretna sports complex

Posted at 9:31 AM, Oct 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-14 10:36:06-04

This November, Gretna voters will decide on new ballfields. 

Supporters say the city needs more sports space as it struggles to keep up with a growing population.

“We have been working with the city for quite a few years as part of the master plan,” said Chris Bartram who is with the Gretna Youth Softball Baseball Association.

The plan includes eight new fields, four baseball and four softball.

“The need is there because we are already to the point where we don't have enough field space in the city to accommodate all of the teams and kids we do have in Gretna,” said Bartram.

To pay for the fields, the city is asking to increase the sales tax by half a cent. That would generate $1.1 million annually, about 60% of that would come from the Nebraska Crossing Outlet Mall.

“The total project cost is around $6 million, so it is well within the means of getting it paid off,” said Bartram.

While the soccer fields are already used daily, parents watching their kids are excited about the proposed development, even with the tax increase.

“I think that would be nice and a good selling point for the organizations that use it,” said parent Richard Givens.

Along with the ball fields, walking trails and playgrounds will go in. Another focus is paving the parking lot and road.

“There are parking concerns at the current field that just don't account for enough paved parking and enough paved walkways to get to the field,” said Bartram.

The GYSBA also hopes the fields would also draw more people to Gretna and be able to host more tournaments.

“Right now within the metro area there is very limited number of basically competition field space that has 8 field spaces in one complex, this would be one of the few that meet that criteria.”

Voters will decide on the sports complex November 8th.

Information meetings will be held the 16th and November 6th at 7pm at Good Sheppard Lutheran Church.