Sunset Hills rugby field offers boys, girls ‘robust, thriving’ opportunity

Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

I’ve been a member of the St. Louis Bombers Rugby Football Club for over 40 years. In addition I’ve been working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for over four decades developing projects in flood plain/wetland areas.

As far as the lights, a rugby ball is large, white and easily seen. Extremely bright lights such as seen at baseball fields to help players track a smaller ball are not necessary. Our professional athletic field lighting contractor has created a plan that meets our needs and does not adversely impact our neighbors. Our lighting plan utilizes only four poles with a system of modern lights focused downward to light the field, not the neighborhood.

Our nearest neighbors are along Kimker Lane to the east, whose homes are 120 feet above and over ¼ mile away from the lights. Team practices are a couple nights per week and usually over by 8 or 8:30. It’s “lights out” by 10 p.m.

Wetlands and flooding: We are bound by the terms of our lease to adhere to the Code of Federal Regulations with regard to both wetlands and flooding issues.

Our construction plans as well as the finished facility must be approved by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources specifically to address compliance.

Simply put, our grading and redistribution of the soil at the site will closely approximate the natural floodway which existed prior to the construction of the Sunset Hills Golf Course.

The Bombers are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. No member of our organization will make a profit from the development and operation of the fields or facilities.

We’re spending our money to make this dream a reality. All construction and ongoing maintenance will be paid for by the Bombers.

We’ve already developed and coach high-school teams and youth boys and girls teams.

These are not things we’re promising to do if we get our facility built, but things we’re already doing to serve the community. At the new Sunset Hills facility we’ll just be able to do them better.

Diversity and opportunity make for robust, thriving cities. Please help us and join with us to make this happen.

Jim Manley
Des Peres

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