Upgrades coming to MERE complex

MARIANNA, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Upgrades are coming to a popular ball field in Marianna, just in time for baseball season.

The Marianna Optimist Club recently approached the recreation director about improvements for the Marianna Educational Recreational Expo, or MERE complex.

The club will be putting in another batting cage near the lower fields. New trash cans and landscaping are also in the works.

Officials hope each new addition will enhance players' and parents' experiences.

"When baseball, soccer, football's going, we're out there twice a week, at least two or three times a week," MERE parent Matt White said. "We're kinda one of those MERE parents where you gotta eat dinner on the run and go to practice."

The improvements won't just benefit locals. The MERE complex is a hot spot for travel ball tournaments.

Each team includes not only players, but family members who stay in hotels and go out to dinner.

"You go through the math and come up with several million dollars that are being spent in our community as a result of those travel ball tournaments," Marianna City Manager Jim Dean said.

The recreation director will speak about the upgrades at the Marianna city council meeting Tuesday night.

Dean said they hope to start putting in new equipment next month.