"Go the distance” and “If you build, they will come” are arguably the two most quoted phrases from the film “Field of Dreams.”
But at the Dyersville City Council meeting on Monday night, another of the famed disembodied voice’s quotes – “Ease his pain” – was more relevant.
Speaking at the end of the meeting, Wayne Ameskamp, a neighboring property owner of the proposed All-Star Ballpark Heaven site, spoke to the Council and stated his opposition to the project.
On a day when Mayor Jim Heavens was absent, Councilmember Mike English helmed the meeting and allowed Ameskamp to address the Council, despite the fact that Ameskamp missed the public comments portion of the meeting.
In a prepared speech, the son of the former owners of Left and Center Field of Dreams asked many questions, including, “If this gets put in and doesn’t work, what happens to the 193-plus acres of agriculture ground, what’s going to happen to it, what can you do with it after this is put up and it doesn’t work?”
Ameskamp addressed his concerns over flooding and the traffic that would follow if the project goes through. He called for a vote to see how many Dyersville citizens are in favor of All-Star Ballpark Heaven.
Ameskamp’s presence brought back memories of a Feb. 20 City Council meeting when more than 70 locals showed up to hear neighboring property owners speak about their concerns with the project.
While there were far less in attendance at the city council meeting this week, Ameskamp echoed his Feb. 20 sentiment of “This has crushed my dream of living out in the country where it’s peaceful and quiet.”
“Will the Field of Dreams still be the nice quiet place for dad and son to have a catch or is it going to turn into an amusement park?” Ameskamp asked Monday night. “I feel that people like it the way it is. Let’s leave it that way.”
According to Ameskamp, there are ways to bring more people to the “Field of Dreams” site, citing Special Olympics events and more ball games as two examples.
He also wondered what was going to happen to his way of life.
“The state, county and city are helping out (developers Mike and Denise Stillman),” Ameskamp said. “What is the state, county or city going to do about helping me out about hunting privileges on my own ground?”
The meeting was adjourned moments after Ameskamp finished.
Ameskamp’s speech was in stark contrast to that of Joe Scherrman, of Scherrman Implement and Appliance and Dreamcatcher Productions, who spoke in support of the project.
Scherrman, who was on the agenda, told the Council that he sent out an email May 18 to garner support for All-Star Ballpark Heaven and received positive responses from people as far away Japan.
Assuring that his presence at the meeting was to ensure the movie site’s preservation, Scherrman also had a request of the Council.
“One of things that I lack is the information on the costs and benefits in dollar amounts for the residents of Dyersville,” Scherrman said. “I really look forward to the council’s report on where the dollars are, what’s going to happen, what do we expect it’s going to cost, what do we expect to come in over the years?”
In other news, the Council:
• Approved and adopted preliminary plans and specifications, proposed form of contract and estimate of cost for the construction of the chapel area street repair 2012 project. The project is estimated to cost $2.46 million – which will come from a FEMA public assistance grant from the 2008 flooding. The project must be completed by Aug. 30, 2013. On June 5 at 10 a.m., a prebid meeting will be held at City Hall.
• Approved the hiring of two officers – Brett Morris and Cale Loewen – to the police department’s bike patrol. Police Chief Brent Schroeder said May 23 is the target date for the bike patrol to begin.
• Accepted the resignation of Dan Deutmeyer from the fire department while approving the appointments of Nick Trumm and Tim Deutmeyer.
• Amended an agreement with Environmental Management Services of Iowa for $800 for additional asbestos removal at 411 4th St. SW.
• Authorized the mayor to sign a contract payment to Pirc-Tobin Construction for $9,968.35 for the Southeast Utilities Extension 2011 project. The payment ups the project total to approximately $596,000.