City wants to own Kugler Field

Published 5:17 pm Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The City of Washington wants to own Kugler Field.

The Washington City Council, during its meeting Monday, unanimously voted to pursue ownership of Kugler Field, now owned by the Beaufort County Board of Education. The city has used the field for various purposes — mostly sports-related uses — over the years. At one time, Washington High School played football games and baseball games at Kugler Field, just off Hudnell Street in the Wanoca community.

“I’ve made mention that the manager and I have been to the Board of Education and have, basically, asked the Board of Education to make a decision around Kugler Field. We put to them that either decision — either they continue to own Kugler and would be solely responsible for any repair, maintenance, et cetera or we would own Kugler at their consideration and we would be wholly responsible,” Mayor Archie Jennings said. “We asked for the opportunity to budget, et cetera, in that case. In that discussion where we asked for their decision, they asked for our preference. So I made the comment that I could not speak for the council. (I) came back and asked you to consider that over the last couple of weeks and would like your decision on what our state preference would be.”

Each council member said he supports the city acquiring ownership of Kugler Field.

“I concur. We’ve had use of that field for many, many years under a contractual arrangement that has never really been beneficial to the city,” Councilman Doug Mercer said. “Let’s own it and do it the way we want to, or let them have it and they can do what they want to. I prefer that in be in our hands so we can utilize it.”

Jennings said he would write a letter to the school board to inform it of the council’s decision to assume ownership of Kugler Field, if the school board is willing for that to happen.

“There are some legal hurdles of the Board of Education decides to go in that direction that would have to be cleared. The attorney has worked on that file, but I am convinced, particularly with the (Kugler) family’s approval, that can be done,” Jennings said. “This bounces the ball back to the Board of Education. It simply states our preference.”

For additional coverage of the council’s meeting, see future editions of the Washington Daily News.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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