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Donor offers $100,000 for Veterans Park repairs

On March 24, soccer fields at Veterans Park in Hastings were vandalized by vehicles causing nearly 10-inch ruts in some areas. Kelsey Roy / RiverTown Multimedia

The Hastings City Council accepted a nearly $100,000 donation at Monday night's council meeting to fund the reparation of soccer fields at Veterans Park that were destroyed by vandals last month.

City Council also accepted a proposal for the repairs from Precision Landscaping and Construction, who estimate the cost of repairs to be just over $90,000.

The only unknown for the repairs, Parks and Recreation Director Chris Jenkins said, is the fields' irrigation system. With the donations given by Caroline Amplatz, there is room to figure the issue out as repairs begin.

Repairs will depend on the weather and the conditions of the field, but the repairs will begin as soon as possible.

For the more heavily damaged areas, the dirt will be flattened and new sod will be brought in, Jenkins said. In areas that aren't as bad, the soil will be flattened and new grass seed will be planted.

According to Jenkins, the fields will likely be playable sometime in late May or early June, just in time for the Hastings Futbol Club to play on it before the season is over.

"It's wonderful news," HCF board member, Jason Wenisch said. "Ms. Amplatz's generosity gives our players hope that they will get to play on their home turf this season. A few days ago that didn't seem possible."

On March 24, nearly 200,000 square feet of damage was done to the soccer fields at Veterans Park by two adult males driving a vehicle on the turf. Large ruts, some as deep as 10 inches, were made by the vehicle's tires.

The spring season for HFC is set to start April 30. The club had over 100 games scheduled to play on the fields at Veterans Park before the incident. Nearly 600 kids of all ages play for HFC's traveling and recreational teams.

For now, the club is scheduled to play on the few untouched fields of Veterans Park, as well as fields at Hastings Middle School, Hastings High School and Wallin Park.

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