challenger field

Challenger Field at Sidney Hutchinson Park in Walkkr may be getting a new neighbor as the city is applying for a federal grant to build a playground near it for special-needs children.

WALKER – Challenger Field, a baseball field for special-needs children at Sidney Hutchinson Park will have a playground next to it if the city can secure a grant.

The Walker City Council approved seeking a federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant at its meeting Monday.

Chief of Operations Jamie Etheridge said the grant will be a 1-1 match for Walker, up to $250,000.

Challenger Field is reserved for special-needs children to participate in baseball games. It meets the requirements to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

In other business, three ordinances were introduced with public hearings on each at the June 10 council meeting. They are:

• A budget amendment to move $34,000 to purchase an excavator for the Gas Department.

• Amendment to the animal control ordinance. Adoption fees must be “consistent with fees imposed by surrounding municipal shelters,” the ordinance says.

All animals available for adoption must be sterilized and receive all appropriate vaccinations, parasite treatment and heartworm evaluation. The animal control director, with the mayor’s approval, may reduce adoption costs as long as all adoption policies are met.

• Amendment to the occupational license ordinance, Section 11-22, on revocation of occupational license for keeping a disorderly place.

In other business, the council:

• Amended the employee handbook on overtime and comp time policies to meet federal guidelines, Etheridge said.

The amendment also clarifies how to compensate salaried employees who can’t get overtime during an emergency declaration by the governor or federal government.

• Approved shifting police Officer John Taylor from reserve to full-time.

• Approved a proclamation declaring June as Health Awareness Month.

• Approved a resolution supporting the Healthy Lifestyle Initiative.

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