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COUNCIL ASKS CORRADINI TO MAKE STADIUM DECISION

SHARE COUNCIL ASKS CORRADINI TO MAKE STADIUM DECISION

Few people went away satisfied from a Salt Lake City Council meeting Thursday night.

Salt Lake Trappers officials still don't know whether they have to fight to play in 1993.People with houses near Derks Field still don't know if they'll be moving.

And residents on a downtown area known as Block 42 still don't know if they will be asked to leave.

Faced with deciding where to place a new municipal baseball stadium, the Salt Lake City Council decided instead Thursday night to turn the decision over to Mayor Deedee Corradini.

After considerable debate, the council voted 5-2 to recommend both Block 42, between 400 South and 500 South and 200 West and 300 West, and the Derks Field site, 1300 South and West Temple to the mayor.

They declined to rank the sites in any order of preference, saying the city can better negotiate with landowners on both sites if it keeps its options open.

The only thing the council decided was that the parking lot north of Derks Field no longer should be considered, citing estimates that the cost of acquiring that block would be too high.

"People come here for us to make a decision on this," said Don Hale, one of only two council members who wanted to choose Block 42. "I'm not going to waffle. I'll come out and say where I stand."

But other council members said that although they have preferences, too many questions remain unanswered.

Councilman Alan Hardman said the city can keep any recalcitrant landowners from delaying construction if it proceeds with two sites.

But, while the council put the decision in Corradini's hands, the real decision on where to place the 12,000-seat facility may rest with the Salt Lake County Commission. Its members have said they might not help pay for the stadium unless it is built on the current site of Derks Field, but so far the county has not come forward with any money.

Corradini said she met with county officials Thursday to try again to get a commitment. The city wants $3.7 million from the county, matching what the city already has committed.

"They can't give a definite answer," she said. "But I feel that in spirit they're with us."

She also wants money from the state and from an unnamed private donor.

Time is quickly running out for the city, which has to have a new stadium in place by the end of March 1994. If it fails to meet that deadline, the city will lose the Portland Beavers, a triple-A team that has agreed to move to Salt Lake City.

Triple-A is the highest level of professional baseball next to the major leagues.

Corradini acknowledged an architect must be hired soon to design the stadium if it is to be finished in time. But an architect can do little without a site.

"In the next one to two weeks we have to make a decision," she said.

Both sites present challenges for the city. If it chooses Derks, the city must destroy seven houses beyond the current outfield wall to make room for the larger facility. It then must find new houses for the people forced to move.

The city's current professional baseball team, the Salt Lake Trappers, may have to forego the coming season if the city builds on Derks. Consultants have told city officials that work has to begin during the summer months.

That has angered Trappers' officials.

"They talk about compensating the homeowners out there," said Dave Baggott, the team's general manager. "What about us? What about the loss of income?"

If the city chooses Block 42, it must contend with a wide range of property owners, including Elizabeth Bowden. She has spent the last 10 years renovating her house, which is listed on the National Historic Register.