BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Young ballplayers in Cheektowaga and their parents had high hopes when they learned the Youth Baseball program received a state grant to upgrade their facilities, but when upgrades at one of the parks didn’t reach first base, they Called 4 Action.
The contract called for a shiny new batting cage, and a new enclosed practice bullpen to start the season at the Southside Little League. Instead, the young Derek Jeters and Melky Cabreras at Starlite Avenue field will have to endure their old batting cage for their first few games.
“Unfortunately our old shed is still in place, we can utilize that. We were hoping to have that down,” said a disappointed George Dixon, vice president of Cheektowaga Youth Baseball.
The Southside Little League hired J&J Enterprises of Depew to build the new batting cages, and practice pitching mounds for nearly $12,000, last fall, and offered half of the money upfront.
“We gave them $6,000 in October of 2013, of which we expected the project to be finalized probably within the next 30 to 45 days,” but Dixon said, it has been nearly six months since J&J Enterprises was paid the $6,000.
What did the league get for its money? “They demolished half of a concrete slab that needed to be moved out of the way, and they dug approximately 12 holes in the ground,” said Dixon, “That was all that they’ve done.”
Dixon concedes league officials have now had to dip into their “rainy day fund” to hire other contractors to finish the job. They are also going to have to sell a lot more hot dogs, chips, and soft drinks to make up the loss.
“Working harder with the concession stand, trying to continue to work with our wonderful sponsors,” said Dixon, “any way at all possible that we could possibly recoup our losses at this point in time.”
One of J&J Enterprises’s co-owners claims, they would like to work something out with the Southside Little League, whose board has agreed to give the contractor a $1,000 credit for the work they have already done.
League play starts this week, and league officials expect the new batting cage and pitching mounds to be finished next week.
If you have a consumer issue, you can Call 4 Action at 879-4900.