Ozark Ball Field Controversy

The city of Ozark will soon send out bids for a project designed for fun, especially for young athletes. But it's turned out to be quite a controversy for others.

Ozark is looking to build four new ballparks in the city.

It may sound like a good idea, when you look at how some parks in the city are run-down and unsafe.

But some city leaders think the sites where the new fields are going will be a waste of money.

Traffic problems, run down facilities, city leaders say it's time to build new ball fields.

"On a good week, or a busy week, we'll need as many as 20 locations. We have 11. The other thing we are looking at is our girls program which will be the main occupants of the complex,” said Mickey Snell of Ozark Leisure Services

But where are they going to go?

The city voted by a 4 to one vote to put in four new softball fields in the police memorial park at Eastgate School.

The park is located on the western edge of Ozark near the Fort Rucker gate.

Some people in the city say that is just too far for residents to drive. Especially since some of the young athletes live east of Ozark in places like Ariton and Skipperville.

"It's going to balance out. To have a first class facility, I don't think any parent is going to mind to drive that extra couple of minutes of driving," said Snell.

Even though the new fields are softball fields, two of the four will be large enough for Dixie youth boys up to 12 years old.

The city received a $250,000 grant to help pay for the project.

They will start the bidding process in December.

Some residents say the money spent on these fields are just not worth it.

They say the land is limited and right now at least $427,000 are expected to be spent on the project. That figure doesn't include restrooms and concessions.

Some residents feel that money should go to more needed areas within the city.

The city rejected two bids at the last council meeting to build a walking trail at police memorial park.

Leaders say they will send out more bid requests, hoping to get the same contractor that will work on the softball fields in order to save time and money.