The old irrigation system isn’t working on the Apache Middle School field located next to Veterans Memorial Park.

SIERRA VISTA— An antiquated irrigation system at the ball fields at Veterans Memorial Park is preventing grass from growing where it should and officials are hoping that a $1.5 million grant that the city would match will help remedy the situation.

At a meeting earlier this month, Sierra Vista Public Works Director Sharon Flissar described the irrigation system as "antiquated and non-functional" and said it has to be replaced. That overhaul, as well as installing artificial turf on the football field and repairing and updating the adjacent well at the park would cost the city $3 million.

The City Council approved a grant application to the Arizona State Parks and Trails Land and Water Conservation Fund that would provide $1.5 million for the project. If the city receives the grant, then Sierra Vista would have to match that amount, plus a 6% surcharge for a total of just over $1.6 million, Flissar said. 

Flissar told city council members last week the grant is geared toward "water conservation."

"By repairing the adjacent well at Veterans Memorial Park, replacing the irrigation system and converting the football field to artificial turf, significant water savings can be realized over the life of the facility," Flissar said.

Library and Leisure Services Director Laura Wilson said completing the project will restore the fields to "playable conditions."

"We are hoping to revitalize the football field, baseball field and softball fields to playable conditions and to make additional improvements over time," Wilson said. "We will need water access and a functional irrigation system in order to do that. In order to save additional water and ensure that the football field will be usable year round, we are requesting artificial turf on that field."

If the city doesn't get the grant, then a "smaller portion of the project" would be undertaken, Assistant City Manager Victoria Yarbrough told council members.