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updated: 4/29/2011 11:24 AM

Funding delays slow work on Antioch sports complex

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By Abby Scalf
ascalf@dailyherald.com

Facing limited funding, Antioch-area officials say they may need to delay and scale back work planned for the next phase of the Tim Osmond Sports Complex.

Antioch Township Supervisor Steve Smouse said he expects the township may spend $150,000 this year to complete the softball and soccer fields under the project's second phase, which began last spring.

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However, plans to connect water and sewer systems, add parking and a second restroom and storage building near the baseball field will be delayed until next year due to lack of state grant funds.

Another $200,000 would be needed to continue all the work as planned this year, Smouse said.

Work began in 2007 to develop the 80-acre facility off Depot Street at a cost of $600,000 to $700,000. Two football fields were constructed, as well as restrooms adjacent to the fields, a baseball field, disc golf course and parking lot. The township paid $250,000 to complete the work last year.

The project has benefitted from money and work donated by several sports organizations. In addition to raising $68,000, the groups constructed the building next to the football field and a scoreboard and helped install bleachers.

The project was to be funded through two $100,000 state grants acquired by the village and township. An Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant totaling $308,000 also was obtained.

However, Antioch has received none of the grant funds, said Smouse, who added they must pay for the project and will be reimbursed with the grant money. He said local officials have been assured they'll receive the grant money at some time.

If Antioch does not receive the grants within the third year, Smouse said, they may need to alter original plans to include a sewer system and instead look to a less costly septic system.

Village Trustee Dennis Crosby said he would like to explore any hurdles of using a septic system.

"If we think there is a way to do that less expensively and we can do that in line with everything else, that will leave money for something else," Crosby said.

Limited parking also remains an issue at the complex, which is used by Viking Football, Antioch Youth Local League and Antioch American Youth Soccer Organization. Smouse said the current lot holds 140 cars. There are plans to extend it to the east, adding 70 spaces.

Mike Kudla, Antioch's director of recreation, said meetings will be planned with the organizations to determine a weekend schedule and who will run programs at the complex.

"If we can't park the cars, we can't run all programs," he said. "Something is going to have to give until we have a long-term parking solution."

Smouse said officials hope to complete the complex in three years, but must be fiscally responsible.

"We are dedicated to making this happen, but it will be at a slower pace than we originally thought because I don't like to spend money I don't have," he said. "That's why we stay in the black but we want to continue with this."

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