The Mason County Commissioners' Court and the City of Mason Commission both held their first formal meetings of 2014 on Monday, and both groups heard a similar presentation from the Puncher Club concerning an ambitious plan for the new year.
At the County meeting, Joe David Yates, Tommy Bierschwale and Pam Kruse appeared before the Court to explain the plans for the new facility. Mr. Yates spoke for the group and explained that the current field house has been inadequate for many years, and many visiting teams have opted to change clothes on their bus rather than use the building. Mrs. Kruse reminded the Court that our own Punchers actually change clothes over in the Community Building rather than using the field house.
Mr. Yates explained that they were appearing before the County because of the complicated ownership chain of the Fort Mason Park where the football field is located. The land was deeded from the Fort Mason Fair Association to Mason County several decades ago. The County then entered into a 99 year lease agreement with the City of Mason for the entire property. The City uses the land for the animal shelter, two RV park facilities, and subleases land to the Fort Mason Golf Association, the Baseball Association, the Mason Rodeo Association and to Mason I.S.D. for use of the golf course, the baseball fields, the rodeo arena and the football stadium, respectively. He explained that the Puncher Club wanted an official nod of agreement for the project from the County to avoid any problems with moving ahead on the project.
The County Court gave unanimous approval to the project and voted to give their permission for the Puncher Club to move ahead with their plans. They would take the next step at the City of Mason Commission meeting later in the day on Monday.
At the City Commission meeting, Mr. Yates and Mr. Bierschwale appeared and gave a similar presentation to the one they had made earlier in the day. They explained that they would be relying on their own fundraising efforts, and the donations of those interested in the project, in order to finance construction of the new metal frame building. They offered a tentative blueprint of the new facility, showing dressing rooms for "home" and "visitor" teams, situated on either side of a dressing room for referees and bathroom/shower rooms for the teams.
The City Commission also gave its unanimous support to the project, voting to give permission for construction to move ahead according to the plan of the Puncher Club. The County had offered the assistance of the County Road Department and their heavy equipment at the morning meeting, and the City offered their assistance with the permitting process when that time finally arrived.
The Puncher Club will be focusing their fundraising efforts for the coming months on meeting the financial obligations they will incur with this construction. Several of the Puncher Club officers have agreed to cosign a note at Mason Bank to guarantee the loan, and all monies raised will go to the final payoff of the facility.
For more information, or to offer your own financial support, contact any member of the Puncher Club, or current president, Tommy Bierschwale.