Chehalis City Council authorizes application for $350,000 state grant to fund Millett Field renovations


The Chehalis Parks and Facilities Department is moving forward with a no-match grant application to fund renovations to the Millett Field athletic courts after receiving unanimous approval to apply for the grant from the Chehalis City Council during its regular meeting on Monday, July 8.

Parks and Facilities Department Director Lilly Wall said getting city council approval is required as part of the grant’s own application process, which is coming from the Washington state Recreation and Conservation Office’s Community Outdoor Athletic Facilities (COAF) program. 

The COAF program is focused on supporting athletic experiences in communities lacking recreational opportunities with underserved populations and limited financial capacity.

“We have not received this grant yet. We are still in the running for it still,” Wall said.

Millett Field is in dire need of renovations, and Wall stated they are applying for $350,000 in grant funding to make the necessary improvements.

“This is really not Millett Field itself, it’s those two derelict cement slabs we have out there,” Chehalis Mayor Tony Ketchum said.

The cement slabs are where Millett Field’s basketball court is and will be the focus of the renovations should Chehalis receive the COAF grant. 

If the city gets the grant, renovations to be carried out include creating two new multi-use athletic courts for sports such as basketball, soccer, wiffleball, pickleball and more, along with a spectator gathering space and participant seating.

Both courts would include new signs, necessary accessories, fencing and solar-powered lighting, which would all be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, according to the council’s agenda report.

The $350,000 being requested in the no-match grant will fully fund these renovations, Wall said.

“I think it’s a great project,” Ketchum added.

Originally built in 1898 after the Millett family donated 3.3 acres of land to the city for a park, Millett Field is located near the intersection of Southwest Chehalis Avenue and Southwest Third Street.

It was mainly used as a baseball field for decades with bleachers and grandstands, but tennis courts were added in the mid-1920s.

Following the construction of Recreation Park and Stan Hedwall Park, Millett Field faded from use as bleachers and grandstands for the baseball field were removed and the field fell into a state of disrepair, ultimately being closed after flooding events. In 2004, those living around Millett Field raised enough money to convert the old tennis courts into a fenced basketball court, which still remains today in a state of disrepair.

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