When the Clearwater city council meets tonight at 6 p.m., one of the main items on the agenda is whether to totally revamp an iconic piece of Clearwater nostalgia.
Few things bring out an image of family more than Little League baseball and softball games. For generations, Clearwater children have tried their best to become the next Mickey Mantle or Mike Schmidt or Albert Pujols, depending on the era they played, on the fields at 714 N. Saturn Ave.
Many of those same children are now Clearwater parents or grandparents.
Over the decades, thousands of Clearwater residents have played on the Clearwater Little League fields, known as the Sid Lickton Complex. The fields have been a constant for Clearwater children summer after summer for over a half-century. Sort of Clearwater's version of a Norman Rockwell painting.
That could change beginning tonight.
Talk of renovating the oak tree-lined, seven-field complex has been discussed previously, but nothing of substance has transpired. Part of the reason for the renewed talk of renovating the complex has been spurred by something with no connection to Little League or baseball at all.
At a nearby reverse osmosis water treatment plant, the city is currently updating the facility. The project is so massive, the city will need to use part of the Lickton complex to complete the project, thus rendering part of the Little League fields off limits.
Because of this major disruption to the Little League fields, city officials believe the time is right to go ahead with the Lickton complex renovation.
Current estimates for the renovation add up to $150,000. If approved tonight, the project would be funded partially by Penny for Pinellas and partially from the city's utility budget because it is the utilities department which will be using a portion of the complex to finish the water treatment plant project, thus shutting down two Little League fields.
Once completed, city officials suggest the Lickton complex will be more modern, more economical and, perhaps more important, safer for the children.