South Milwaukee Baseball Diamond Getting Upgrade
South Milwaukee School District maintains baseball diamond owned by the county.
A baseball diamond in South Milwaukee is getting a significant upgrade this year.
The diamond, in the Oak Creek Parkway and near South Milwaukee High School, is getting new synthetic turf in the infield. The diamond sits on parkland and is owned by Milwaukee County Parks, but it’s also used by the South Milwaukee School District.
Along with the new turf, a new drain system and underwater sewer line will be installed.
These park leases are a way for the county to preserve parkland while allowing another party, in this case, a school district, to take over maintenance. Supervisors and their constituents are loathe to see the county relinquish public ownership of county parkland. But the county’s precarious financial situation, with a maintenance backlog in the parks system verging on half a billion dollars worth of projects, makes it tough to get funding for regular maintenance.
In 2019, the City of Greenfield approached Milwaukee County seeking to lease the entirety of Kulwicki Park, allowing the municipality to take over its maintenance and operations. The deal saved the county an estimated $305,000 in maintenance and $60,150 annually in operating costs.
These lease deals illustrate the county’s inability to maintain the parks system at current revenue levels. The parks department has, in turn, had to become creative about making money. In recent years, approximately 50% of its annual budget has been generated by the department itself through public golf course fees, event rentals and entertainment offerings like the beer gardens.
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