Chillicothe’s Shaffer Park, home of the Chillicothe Mudcat baseball, is slated for field improvements this year.

Chillicothe’s Shaffer Park, home of the Chillicothe Mudcat baseball, is slated for field improvements this year. Plans were brought before the Chillicothe City Council by Josh Norris, director of Parks and Recreation, along with Doug Doughty, general manager of the Chillicothe Mudcats. “We’re back with another proposal to enhance and improve Shaffer Park,” Doughty told the council members during their regular meeting Monday evening. Last year, a new concessions stand was built as a joint endeavor of the Mudcats’ sponsor – Grand River Entertainment – and the city of Chillicothe; and a new batting cage added. Much of the funding came through sponsorships and donations. This year, the plan is to refurbish the bullpens and place artificial turf in the entire bullpen area, except for the mounds. “We have the money in place to do that,” Doughty said. Most of the funding for the project will come through Grand River Entertainment and the Chillicothe Mudcats. The rest of the money for the turf and the site prep will be through foundation money and through contributions of C&R Concrete providing the labor for site preparations for artificial turf, Doughty said. The bullpens have deteriorated after 16 years since they were first constructed, Doughty said, adding that the wood around the fencing is rotting. The city will tear down and replace the fence and stay within the budget that is alloted for Shaffer Park. Much of the artificial turf is used turf coming at no charge from Oak Grove High School, which is installing new artificial turf at its football field. A small amount of new turf is planned to be purchased. The improvements should enhance play for the American Legion Cardinals, the high school baseball and the Chillicothe Mudcats and last for many years to come, Doughty said. He hopes that the improvements can be completed by the start of the high school season; however, completion is weather dependent. In other business Monday evening, the council approved the reappointment of Larry Heisey to serve on the airport board. Special recognition was given to Don Overton, who served 11 years on the Planning and Zoning Board and eight years on the Board of Adjustments. Mayor Chuck Haney presented Overton with a plaque and thanked him for his years of service. Haney also noted the service of Gene Moyers, who served eight years on the Planning and Zoning Board, and Jody Case, who served 11 years on the Board of Adjustments.