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Clark County reverses course; will exclusively negotiate with Bears

Yakima BearsUpon further review, the three-person Clark County (Wash.) Board of Commissioners will exclusively negotiate the terms of a new ballpark with the Yakima Bears (short season; Northwest League) ownership, Short Season LLC.

The decision was split — two commissioners for, one commissioner against — and it’s pretty clear the commissioner against, Tom Mielke, will be against the project no matter what. He complained that there were few answers to concerns raises by the community, but the whole point of negotiating a deal is to address concerns, map out a game plan and present a total solution to the board and to concerned citizens.

And there are plenty of them, with the usual concerns: traffic and noise. The ballpark would be located on the Clark College campus (the school is donating the land for the project), but Vancouver neighborhoods in the vicinity could be affected by folks going to and from the ballgame.

As part of the negotiating process the county will also discuss a proposed amusements tax — mostly applying to moviegoers — that would fund the county’s contribution to the project. (The Bears have proposed the county pay for 70 percent of the ballpark, with the Bears contributing the rest.)

RELATED STORIES: Clark County passes on exclusive negotiations with Bears; opposition to new ballpark rises; Funding plan emerges for new Clark County ballpark; Yakima Bears to Portland area


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