The night the lights went out at the “Komp” — no, it’s not a new version of the old song that went, “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.” That song had something to say about, “The Night they drove old Dixie down,” ....
The Minneota Mudhens amateur baseball team is determined the season must go on — even without lights. When a problem was discovered that put half the lights and the scoreboard out of commission, the Minneota Mudhens had to take quick action.
“We had to move the Morris Eagles game to Marshall,” said Manager Tyson Sonnenburg.
But the Mudhens had to pay $200 to play there and lost their concession income for the night. “It’s an underground power issue,” said Minneota Supt. Dan Deitte. “Until I actually had figures (on repairing the problem), I didn’t have much to report.”
Now Deitte knows it will cost, “About $7,000 to put a band aid on the problem or about $21,000 to properly fix the system.”
In addition to being stressed to find money for the project, Deitte says the Minneota School District is at the end of it’s fiscal year (July 1st is a new year). So money spent now to repair the lighting situation would go in this year’s budget, “And we just didn’t budget for it,” he said.
Complicating the situation is the fact the land the field is on belongs to the City of Minneota, while the school district has always maintained the field and paid the costs of upkeep.
On Tuesday Minneota City Administrator Shirley Teigland reported the lights and scoreboard were fixed temporarily — but a major decision will need to be made in the future. The Mudhens will play Friday night. Also, the school doesn’t have any games going on until football season.
And if they fix it before football season, the expenses can be budgeted in the new budget.
Still, Deitte says he’s sympathetic to the Mudhens, who need lights to play their home games.
“A similar thing happened nine years ago. At that time it cost us $7,000,” said Deitte.
He indicated that was, “A band aid situation.” “I’m not sure I want to spend $7,000 to band aid it and then have to pay $21,000 for a new system later,” he added.
The Mudhens will play a night game on Friday, May 25 against the Hancock Orphans. Scheduled as “Root Beer Float Night,” the game is on.
On Monday, the high school baseball team had played with the scoreboard working and apparently the lights would have worked.
However, Activities Director Matt Myrvik said it was a “temporary fix”.