PRESTON – Preston City entered into a purchase agreement with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to buy Craner Field on July 31. The property is located directly across Hwy 91 from Preston Jr. High School and will cost the city $265,000.
“It was used up until a few years ago and everything works,” said Preston Mayor Dan Keller. “We will have to update the restrooms to make them ADA compliant.”
The 5.6 acre fenced grassy field has two ball diamonds with backstops, lights, bleachers, restrooms and a good-sized parking lot.
The Preston City Council and mayor felt like the purchase is an asset for the city. Mayor Keller said it was almost magical the way it came together.
“I’ve lived in Preston a long time and from the time I was little until now, and I’m retirement age, I don’t remember the city ever adding a park,” Keller said. “Preston is growing. You can see it in the new homes being built and the school enrollment numbers.”
Craner Field also has a below ground sprinkler system and 15 shares of secondary water to sweeten the deal.
“We couldn’t buy a piece of ground, cleared it, put in the infrastructure and grass it for what we paid for this,” he said. ”And it is ready to be used.”
At last Monday’s City Council meeting, the mayor and city council opened the reserves of 2019-2020 budget and took the the money needed to pay for the property.
“We have a booming city sports program and by buying this property will open up more room for our soccer program and we could start an adult softball league,” he said. “I would sometime the future like to add a covered shelter and a walking path for our residents.”
When the church had the property, they would not let anyone use it on Sundays or Mondays. The mayor said he wanted to make it available seven days a week.
“The field was named after Bill Craner, a long-time educator at Preston High School,” Keller said. “We plan to keep the name.”