Lee County Little League could see big changes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lee County Little League could see big changes

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April 23, 2007

Lee County--  As Lee County commissioners look for ways to improve the county's finances, some parents worry their kids will be punished in the process. The County may cut ties with the Park Street Recreation Complex.

That would save the county thousands of dollars but it could cost some little leaguers their favorite pastime-- baseball.

"Let's go Landon, let's go whoo whoo!," chants Lee County Little League players. It's a favorite pastime for children.  Here at the Park Street Recreation Complex in Lee County, it's very clear.

"I like hitting the ball and getting on base," said Tyler McConnell. Baseball is a big thing for little leaguers.

"I've been playing since I was 2-years-old," said McConnell.

8-year-old Tyler McConnell is a shortstop for the Royals. "Well, I'm pretty good," said McConnell.

But soon, there could be a change to the field where he displays his talents. "It's very surprising," said Lee County Dixie Youth Baseball Director Steve Glover.

Youth Baseball Director Steve Glover received the troubling news just a couple of days ago. Funding from Lee County leaders could be scrapped due to budget cuts.

"The thing that is disheartening is they never came and spoke to us. They never approached us. You know it's just a shame," said Glover.

Under consideration is eliminating two maintenance jobs at the complex that provide lawn cutting, lighting, fertilization and water. County leaders say the change would save about 60-thousand dollars but Glover says if the league doesn't get the county's support, little league baseball is in jeopardy for nearly 600 children.

"If they pass this, it'll be impossible for us because you would be talking about every parent having to pay up to $300 per child and understand some people have two or three children in this league," said Glover.

Parents say youth baseball is needed.

"I just worry about what it's going to do to the youth of Lee County," said parent Pam Moss. Youth like Tyler can't imagine life without it.

"That would...I'd be like crying everyday," said McConnell. Especially with everyday big dreams beyond this field.

"A major league baseball player for the Atlanta Braves," said McConnell.

He's depending on little league to get him there.

Lee County Administrator Alan Ours says nothing is final.  It's just something commissioners are looking at. He says commissioners are looking for anyway to avoid a tax increase. Other things on the table include eliminating all vacant positions in the county to help balance the budget.  

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