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Binger tax increase approved to help renovate Johnny Bench Field

by Jacob Unruh Modified: May 13, 2013 at 4:41 pm •  Published: April 3, 2013

Last week I wrote about how former major league outfielder Reggie Willits is trying to restore Binger-Oney to prominence on the baseball field. You can read the story here.

A big part of the story is how the community is rallying around Willits and the program, and it continued doing just that Tuesday.

The Binger community voted to approve a proposition that included renovations to historic Johnny Bench Field with a 68.4-percent vote in favor of raising the sales tax in the town one cent.

The renovations are expected to total between $400,000 and $600,000, and superintendent Kirk Wilson said before the vote that he hoped they would be completed by the beginning of the fall season. It is still unclear when renovations will begin, though, as the city still has to legally go through a bidding process.

Willits, however, was just pleased with the results Tuesday night.

“I think it’s big. I think it really is,” Willits said. “It shows the commitment of the school system and the city council and the community. I think it’s pretty major of a deal, especially in our neck of the woods.”

Incorporating the Johnny Bench Museum that is currently located in city hall into the stadium is also a key part of the renovations.

Binger-Oney is currently No 4 in Class A with a 14-7 record, just one season after winning just six games.

“In the past week we’ve seen our kids kind of grow up,” Willits said. “They’ve won some big games and that’s something they haven’t done in awhile. You’re starting to see the kids, one, come together as a team and individually they are starting to get better. Something like this, it shows the kids (the community is behind them).”


by Jacob Unruh
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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