The Faribault City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a resolution calling for accessibility improvements to Bell Field in Alexander Park.

I could see the late Jerry Kes smiling from heaven as the council members talked about the planned improvements. He approached the city about making the facility more accessible to those with wheelchairs and walkers when a good friend with cancer was confined to a wheelchair.

The friend's wife pushed the wheelchair over the gravel at the entrance to Bell Field and had to go down one of the baselines to watch their son play because there was no way to get the wheelchair under the grandstand. Kes also saw a number of elderly people struggle and need assistance with their walkers.

Faribault Parks and Recreation Director Paul Penansky told the council the accessibility improvements consist primarily of constructing concrete pavement, base work for the bituminous area, curb and gutter, an accessible ramp to the baseball field grandstand and a walkway into the grandstand area from the parking lot.

The resolution says bid opening will be August 16 at 2PM and the City Council will receive the bids at their August 22 meeting. The resolution also stipulates the project has a budget of $195,000.

In a memo to the mayor and council, Penansky said he anticipated construction to begin in September of this year.

There have been some other improvements discussed, but this project addresses only the accessibility issues.

Faribault Parks and Recreation Director Paul Penansky Bell Field Presentation. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld