Frustrated local Little League official hoping city, county step up to plate to help renovate complex
by Coy Slavik, Advance-Guard Editor
Feb 13, 2014 | 125 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Wooden bleachers at the Goliad County Little League Baseball complex are rotting and in need of repair.
Wooden bleachers at the Goliad County Little League Baseball complex are rotting and in need of repair.
GOLIAD – April 5 is approaching much too fast for Goliad County Little League President Jimmy Garcia.

The Little League complex adjacent to the Goliad County Fairgrounds on U.S. Highway 183 has seen many better days as the facility’s lone toilet is unreliable and the concession stand is weathered and rotting.

The complex’s three fields aren’t in much better shape. The cyclone fences around the fields are falling apart.

“We’re hoping to have one field replaced by the opening ceremonies on April 5,” Garcia said Sunday. “As far as the concession stand, where we’ll get the money from, I don’t know.”

Garcia has requested assistance from the Goliad Municipal Development District and has appeared before city council several times seeking monetary help to bring the facility back up to par.

Garcia said he first approached the MDD in 2012 and his request for $94,000 to renovate and update the entire complex was denied. He spoke to the MDD again last week

“I had a good meeting with them a couple of months ago,” Garcia said. “They said they were interested and apologized for not being able to discuss with me the first approach and the request being denied. I told them, we could have had the complex done and they wouldn’t see me anymore.”

Garcia said the MDD advised him to get bids from contractors on how much the work would cost to possibly come back with a smaller request for funds.

“The Eagle Ford has all the general contractors making a lot of money,” Garcia said. “I told the MDD they aren’t going to come and quote me a $40,000 bid when they can make $300,000 off a project. They don’t have the time for us.”

Garcia finally got a bid of $61,000 from Golden Crescent and submitted it to the MDD on Feb. 3.

“That’s for a brand-new concession stand and everything we’re looking for,” Garcia said. “Golden Crescent said it could have the concession stand in two weeks.”

MDD board chairman Mary Jane Martin said the MDD had to wait to get legal approval to consider Garcia’s request. She said former city attorney Terry Baiamonte was in the process of verifying Little League Baseball’s availability to MDD assistance.

New city attorney Ashford Taylor told the Advance-Guard on Friday that he hasn’t been able to meet with Baiamonte to discuss Garcia’s request.

“At the last meeting I had with the city, Baiamonte clarified that,” Garcia said. “It feels like we’re going backward. They say they want to help the Little League, but nothing ever materializes. They talk and sound good on record, but nothing ever happens.”

Garcia, who has been the president of the local Little League for four years, said he asked City Administrator Larry Zermeno to see if the MDD could hold a special session to discuss his request, but the earliest the MDD could meet would be Feb. 17.

“That wouldn’t be enough time,” Garcia said.

Meanwhile, Garcia is planning to go another season counting on donations and volunteers.

“Goliad deserves better,” Garcia said. “This complex has not had a major renovation in at least 25-plus years and it generates revenue for this city.”
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