MASKELL — Maskell’s ball field might once again be filled with kids and laughter.
Last Friday afternoon nearly a dozen Maskell kids used colored markers to add their signature to a large wooden sign that sits near the “city hall” in Maskell.
The words at the bottom of the sign tell the story – “We want a basketball court and a place to ride our bikes.”
A spark of interest has been ignited in the small town of around 65 residents to update the park so it can be better utilized by local families.
There are approximately 16 kids living in the town and a number of kids live close by that would benefit from the project, as well.
Some folks in Maskell are talking about constructing a basketball court and fixing an area where kickball and sand volleyball can be played.
It could also be a place for kids to ride their bikes.
The labor and supplies would all be done without any cost to the taxpayers.
Lindsey Hoesing, 16, said she would love having a basketball court to use.
“It is a great idea,” said her ten-year-old brother Matthew Hoesing. “Me and my friend ride our bikes on the streets around town – it would be a lot safer at the field.”
Darian Anderson, who is 11 years old, said “it sounds like fun.”
Michael Mathis, 9, thinks it is a good idea and said he would be willing to help get the work done at the park.
The ballfield on the north edge of Maskell holds a lot of memories for current and former Maskell community residents.
Numerous games and tournaments have taken place at the ball field, which was constructed in 1977 by a few Dixon County volunteers, although the number of games has dwindled down through the last few years.
In an effort to save the expense from mowing the property, the town board recently decided to offer the approximately two-acre parcel the ball field is located on out for rent.
The five member town board will hold a meeting April 11 to discuss the rental of the property.
Maskell resident Rick Pinkelman has posted a large sign near the city hall, and is excited about the prospect of re-doing part of the ballfield for families in the Maskell community to use for recreation and to have fun together.
He wants Maskell residents to be aware of the situation and have an opportunity to voice their opinion before the decision is made.
Maskell may be small but the village has a lot to offer.
A shelter house was constructed at the park shortly before the town celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2007.
The huge Maskell Horse Arena which was built in 2008 and sits across the street from the ball park is a gathering place for horse lovers.
Last Saturday, over a dozen horse trailers were parked near the entrance to the in-door arena which covers almost as much area as a football field.
The ten-by-ten foot Maskell City Hall may be small but it has made a name for itself – it is tagged as the “smallest City Hall in Nebraska.”
An attractive sidewalk is being installed in front of the city hall one square at a time.
Some of the four-by-four cement squares were done in memory of former Maskell residents while others feature names of current Maskell residents.