tampabay.com

Future ballfields worry some

The Tampa Little League assures neighbors it will adjust lights and sound to allay concerns.

By DONG-PHUONG NGUYEN
Published August 25, 2006


LIVE OAK - The crack of baseball bats, the glare of lights and the voice of announcers are all a part of life for Little Leaguers and their parents. But for Rick Maslyn, who lives near ballfields, it can be annoying.

Maslyn of Meadow Pointe was among a handful of people who attended a meeting Monday night at Turner Elementary School to discuss the planned construction of four new baseball fields in this community.

Maslyn's home sits next to the future fields, so he wanted assurance that the lights wouldn't be too bright, nor the announcers' voices too loud.

Little League officials told Maslyn that there would be a trial-and-error period in order to appease all parties. Remedies might include redirecting the light and adjusting the public address system.

"Your concerns as neighbors are concerns of the league," said Steve Glantz, facilities director for the New Tampa Little League. "I would hope there would be a lot less trial."

The meeting, hosted by Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation officials, was a chance for neighbors to express these very concerns, said Kevin Hammond, project manager for the parks department.

The 18-acre county project will cost $4-million when completed. Part of it has already been built, including a track, basketball and tennis courts, and bleachers. The baseball diamonds and a concession stand should be in by spring.

The entire sports complex will be enclosed by a 6-foot-tall chain-link fence and will be closed to the public between 6:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. for use by students at Turner Elementary and Bartels Middle School.

Dong-Phuong Nguyen can be reached at 813 269-5312 or nguyen@sptimes.com