http://almanacnews.com/print/story/print/2012/03/28/portola-valley-big-donor-may-alter-ford-field-fundraising


Almanac

News - March 28, 2012

Portola Valley: Big donor may alter Ford Field fundraising

by Dave Boyce

A fundraising plan to raise $540,000 — including $200,000 from a major donor in town — is now in place to renovate Portola Valley's Ford (baseball) Field at the corner of Alpine Road and Westridge Drive.

The plan, with roots in 2009, includes deadlines, objectives and task assignments. But a potential second major donor is complicating the picture.

This unnamed donor proposes to "fund, design and construct the project himself," with possible support from the $200,000 donor, according to a report by Jon Myers of the town's Parks & Recreation Committee. The report was delivered to the Town Council on March 14.

This unnamed donor, whose identity during a council discussion seemed known to everyone involved, has a tendency to attach his name to his projects, one council member said. That tendency appears to have played out satisfactorily in Menlo Park, the town attorney added.

The Portola Valley field, of course, already has a name.

Under the plan laid out to the council by Mr. Myers, funding for the project includes $232,212 from state grants and an expected $75,000 from the Little League, the field's only organized user, plus $32,000 from individuals in the community. The potential $200,000 donor has "expressed support, but (is) not yet committed," the report says.

Based on three community workshops, the plans called for changes that included shade trees along the first- and third-base lines and new "social space," including picnic tables, bleachers and a grassy knoll behind left field.

The batting cage and pitcher warm-up area would be smaller, and there would be permanent bathrooms and a snack shack. The field would be rotated a few degrees to the east to improve the bank of Los Trancos Creek.

Any significantly new design would be subject to re-analysis by town government, including the Architectural and Site Control Commission and the Town Council, Interim Town Manager Barbara Powell said in a staff report.

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