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February 28, 2014

Recreation Department facilities neglected

MILLEDGEVILLE — The Baldwin County Parks and Recreation Policies, Procedures and Ordinances introduction states that the department “is committed to provide programs and leisure services of the highest quality and safety to residents.”

A stated goal of making sure that the recreation facilities are kept clean, well lighted and all buildings and equipment are checked and regularly maintained exists within the document as well.

After a recent travel ball tournament, parents and coaches sent a clear message to county leadership that the recreation department doesn’t currently live up to those statements of purpose.

• The tipping point

A weekend CAMsports youth baseball and softball tournament at the Baldwin County Recreation Department fields brought an estimated 1,000 people to the community.

The facilities didn’t show well.

“There were a couple of things that really brought light to it,” Baldwin County Manager Ralph McMullen said. “There are some things the county has got to work to correct for the future.”

According to some coaches and parents, the facilities weren’t prepped for the events. Most notably the ladies restroom on the lower fields was flooded with no toilet paper or hand towels.

A youth travel softball coach, Walter Green, spent hours at the recreation department during the tournament and said the bathroom incident is just one of a “multitude of problems.”

“The condition of the park is really embarrassing,” Green said. “I’ve been trying to get somebody to listen to make some improvements out there for about five years. Nothing has happened. It’s just gotten worse.”

The aforementioned restroom has multiple stalls though only one has a door, which doesn’t lock.

“Those doors should have been replaced by now,” the county manager said. “If it was kicked down within two or three days, it needs to be back up.”

Green said many female visitors drove to convenience stores to use their facilities last weekend.

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