During its March 20 meeting, the Los Banos City Council approved a contract with Ronny’s, Inc. for the Officer Noah Jones Ballpark sidewalk project, authorized Ronny’s to perform additional landscape services and discussed a conceptualized renovation project for the Colorado Ballpark. 

The contract with Ronny’s includes making on-site construction improvements for sidewalks and a parking lot at the Noah Jones Ballpark, formerly the Seventh Street Ballpark.

The council also authorized the city to sign a Landscape Maintenance Services Agreement with Ronny’s, including 19 additional landscaping maintenance sites.

The council also amended the fiscal year 2023-2024 budget by increasing appropriations in several accounts to cover the expanded maintenance services.

Joe Heim, the Los Banos Parks and Recreation Director, presented to the council the Colorado Ballpark Renovation Project as an idea to be considered for movement and progress. 

The project aims to enhance the park’s facilities and is estimated to cost between $13 to $17 million.

Heim said the large park, located on Colorado Avenue, has been a place where young people and adults come to use the baseball fields, tennis courts and skatepark. However, the park has needed upgrading and renovating for years, Heim said

Earlier in the meeting, during the public forum, Dustin Caropreso, long-time Los Banos resident and president of the Los Banos Little League, had expressed his frustrations with the park.

 “It’s time that we do something with Colorado Ballpark,” Caropreso said. “Putting a band-aid on it is not going to work. It’s been there too long. We either need to uproot it and redo it or we need to find somewhere else to go and build a new one.”

A group of skateboarders also came to the council meeting showing their desire to see renovations begin for the park.

“I see the many intrinsic benefits of what this project can bring to Los Banos as a whole,” Heim said.

While there were concerns about the funding, several council members showed their support for the project. Mayor Paul Llanez said, “I think it’s just a huge investment in our community.” Councilmember Kenneth Lambert also expressed his support for the project..

Regarding the council’s financial concerns and whether the project is feasible, Brent Kuhn, the city’s financial consultant, said, “I think so. It’s just going to take the city’s finance department developing a fiscal plan and bringing it to the council to show the feasibility. But in terms of the structure of current revenues exists, I think yes, it can be feasible.”

During his report, City Manager Josh Pinheiro expressed his support for renovating the Colorado Ballpark. He noted he had a personal connection to the park.

Pinheiro also addressed some of the comments from the public forum that were concerned with the city’s lack of commitment toward expanding the community with needed facilities, infrastructure upkeep, the city budget and whether the people of Los Banos can trust the city council members.

“I will tell you here today,” Pinheiro said, “that we’re working hard every single day to do the best we can with the information we have and with the dollars that we have to fight for the people of this town to do whatever we can.

“We’re not always going to get it right,” he said, “but I promise you we’re going to fight like heck to make this the best place.”

Christina Rocha