Emergency exit to be added at Chelsea Sports Complex

The Chelsea City Council approved on June 21 the purchase of 8.9 acres of property for $90,000 for an emergency exit at the Chelsea Sports Complex. (File)

The Chelsea City Council approved on June 21 the purchase of 8.9 acres of property for $90,000 for an emergency exit at the Chelsea Sports Complex. (File)

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

CHELSEA – Plans for the Chelsea Sports Complex the city is building off Shelby County 11 now include an emergency exit at the back of the park.

The Chelsea City Council voted in favor of purchasing 8.9 acres of extra property for $90,000 to be used for an emergency exit from David Brogdon, Two Mountains LLC.

“That’s going to be a value to us in the future more than today,” Mayor Earl Niven said. “Anytime you have a big development like that, you need to have more than one way in and out.”

The closing will take place by June 30.

Niven said he hopes Chelsea’s next mayor will have a gate installed at the exit.

The first phase of the complex, which sits on roughly 100 acres near Chelsea High School, is on track to be finished in the next few months.

Sod has been placed on two fields, the lake is full and the construction of the concession stand is underway.

“The lake is beautiful,” Niven said. “The fields look beautiful. We’re hoping in a couple months everything will be finished and we’ll have an opening. It’s going to be well worth the wait.”

During the June 21 pre-council meeting, Niven reviewed the city’s expenses related to the sports complex and the Chelsea Community Center off Shelby County 47 and discussed how to factor them into the annual budget.

“You always look at what did I spend last year,” he said. “You adjust the category based upon what you know is coming up. A budget is a road map.”

Niven went through expenses for the community center ($36,000 for electricity, $3,000 for telephones, $12,000 for maintenance and more totaling $271,000) and likewise for the sports complex ($2,400 for water, $3,600 for telephones, $7,500 for maintenance and other categories).

Niven noted the expenses don’t yet include a parks and recreation director, adding, “Right now, we’re putting emphasis on getting the facilities to play. When we get more revenue and more demand for sports, we can handle this.”

Niven said he plans to walk through the development of next year’s budget with the new mayor after municipal elections in August.

“The hardest problem for a new mayor is what money do we have and what is the best use of our money,” Niven said.

Regarding the community center, Niven said he wants to look at installing a putting green between the volleyball court and horseshoe area.

The 50-by-70-foot green would cost about $38,500.

“I think this would get some use,” he said. “I will gather information other than this bid and bring it back to you.”