City Council moves forward with turf fields, plus another new sports facility coming to Keizer

The Keizer City Council voted to authorize City Manager Adam Brown to apply for funds for the artificial turf fields project at Keizer Rapids Park. The council also had the option to direct Brown to apply for funds for improvements at Volcano’s Stadium. That option was not moved forward.

The funds will be applied for from the state’s Capital Funding Project, fueled by federal dollars. The applications for that money will be submitted to state Senator Kim Thatcher.

The artificial turf fields at Keizer Rapids Park are  a project funded by Marion County and the City of Keizer, through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The fields and its amenities carry an estimated cost of $6.5 million. 

The council was told at its April 3 meeting that an additional $900,000 is needed to fully fund the project. Construction of the fields is expected to begin this summer.

A visual concept of the interior of the Lava Dome sports complex.

Regarding sports in Keizer, representatives of The Lava Dome made an informational presentation before the council. The Lava Dome is a planned indoor sports dome proposed for Keizer Little League Park. Co-founders Jamie Hogland and Paige Zizzi showed a model of the structure, which will be built in conjunction and partnership with For Love of the Game and Volcanoes Baseball. The element-proof dome will provide space for year-round baseball and softball. Hogland and Zizzi said it would be the only dome of its kind in the country.

Ground breaking for the dome is planned for August with a March 2024 opening. “We want this to be a destination,” said Hogland. “We want to create a family-friendly atmosphere.”

The council meeting opened with two proclamations by Mayor Cathy Clark. The first was proclaiming April Volunteer Recognition Month. Volunteer Coordinating Committee chair Daisy Hickman appeared and explained how the committee fills vacancies on the city’s various commissions, committees and boards. Hickman then passed out cookies to the council and department heads.

The second proclamation was also declaring April Child Abuse Prevention Month. Appearing before the council were Tanya Hamilton of Family Building Blocks, Vanessa Nordyke of CASA Marion County and Kyle Parr of Liberty House to talk about Paint the Town Blue, a campaign to raise awareness. All three stressed the importance of prevention of child abuse by being aware and act when seeing abuse.

In 2021 there were more than 10,000 reported victims of child abuse and neglect in Oregon and more than 1,000 in Marion County.

Kat Thorsen of the Public Arts Commission gave a report on the 2023 City Holiday Card contest won by Christine Patterson. The art sculpture, Rosalie’s Cows, in the center of the Chemawa Road-Verda Lane roundabout is slated to be installed in time for the city’s 40th birthday celebration in June. 

The council learned that Keizer Police will hold a seminar on May 4 to educate the public about establishing neighborhood watches.

A video recording of city council meetings can be found at