GRAYSVILLE, Tenn. — For 66-year-old Wesley Denson, recalling his former softball days at Graysville's ballpark sparked a renewed interest in the sport he loved.
He's excited about future events at the park and the city updating the lighting there.
"I'd like to see them do something at the park," said Denson, a resident since 1957 and former player with the local Graysville Indians team.
Mayor Ted Doss said the city received a $93,000 grant from the Southeast Tennessee Development District to buy a 400-watt breaker box at the ballpark and for new globe fixtures to replace the 50-year-old lighting inside City Hall, the former Graysville Public School building.
He said the grant could help the county save up to 25 percent on electrical costs at those locations.
The updates also could help the city draw more events at the ballpark, he said.
Doss said the city had offers to host tournaments from neighboring areas, but other ballparks were chosen because of the outdated 200-watt breaker box that malfunctioned during longer events.
He said the park had hosted smaller tournaments and wrestling fundraisers, but the update will open it up for more events and revenue, along with accommodating multiple plug-ins at the city's fall festival.
Denson, who lives near the park, said he remembered large crowds that once attended ballpark events, and that he'd like to see the park come alive with more activity.
"I wouldn't live anywhere else," he said.
Fellow ball player Chester Smith, who actively walks the field, said, "It'd be a good thing if they had a lot of people to come out for [more events]."
Doss said the state's funding included a stipulation that city officials purchase the equipment from a local or area company.
"[We're] trying to get back to buying American-made," Doss said.
Earlier this month, the new five-member City Council was asked to list its top priorities for the next four years.
Doss said cleaning ditches, repaving streets and developing newcomer packets were among those listed for discussion at the board's upcoming February meeting.
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