KIMBALL, Tenn. — The first set of baseball field lights at Kimball Park has been dark since it was installed several months ago.
Kimball Mayor David Jackson said an electrical problem was found and can be corrected for $4,000, but a more thorough fix would cost the town $10,000 to $12,000.
"The electrical box is big enough to handle the lights, but the interior guts of that box are not right to be wired," he said.
The Kimball Board of Mayor and Aldermen recently voted unanimously to have Sowder Electric Co. Inc. in Jasper, Tenn., correct the problem for $4,000 based on Jackson's recommendation.
"I recommended we do the cheaper fix, because if we get a park grant we're applying for, the more expensive fix can be included in that [for the remaining three fields]," Jackson said.
"We'd get half of that more expensive correction paid for [through the grant]," he said. "Until we get the problem corrected [on the first field], we can't get those lights on."
Alderman Mark Payne, who made the motion to spend the $4,000, said the city has spent $68,000 to install the lights, and they are useless without the correction.
"We're going to have to spend $4,000, or we might as well go down [to Kimball Park] and knock those poles down," he said. "That's where we are. I'd rather spend the money and get it over with."
The lights "won't run on Duracells," Payne said.
Officials said the electrical work will apply only to the currently installed field lights, and the remaining fields will have separate switches whenever they are set up.
The town is not wasting the money on the corrections because the work will not have to be redone, and the work does not have to be bid out because the cost is under $10,000, officials said.
If Kimball chose to bid out the work in hopes of getting a lower price, Jackson said, the town would end up spending much more than $4,000.
"We need to get some use out of [that field]," Alderman Johnny Sisk said. "I'd rather spend the $4,000 than the $10,000, so we can get some use out of it."
Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.