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The Town of Warren and Youth Baseball Facilities

Town officials need to be made aware of and held accountable for lack of baseball facilities for the Warren Little League.

*DISCLAIMER* The following is a direct reflection of my personal opinion, although I am associated with Warren Little League I am NOT writing this on behalf of that organization.

To Whom it may concern, or anyone that will listen...

Unfortunately, there may be some that do not welcome this criticism.  For those of you that do not know or are not involved in youth sports in this town, the upkeep of youth baseball fields are the responsibility of the Town of Warren and its Department of Public Works and Recreation Board. We are lucky to get the grass cut on a weekly basis at those fields. Warren Little League receives minimal to no support from this town, which is evident in the condition of the publicly maintained fields and also the lack of baseball/softball fields in town. WLL has 14 baseball teams spread over 4 divisions of play that are forced to utilize 3 fields, one of which being a softball field and the other field on Water Street being maintained solely by WLL volunteers and funds secured by WLL because the field is located on private property (). Which I may add in my opinion is the best kept field in town. Not to mention WLL spent in excess of $15,000 of its own money and privately secured donations to rehabilitate the Senior League ball field located at Burrs Hill Park with the blessing of the town and also the DPW, only for the town to totally let the fields upkeep go after just one season, the field has yet to be brought back to its rehab'd state with MANY empty promises from the DPW. 

Warren Little League continues, year in and year out to spend thousands of dollars on these fields that are the responsibility of the Town of Warren, sometimes spending so much of it's own money that we have to minimize the purchase of equipment for the teams.  As a matter of fact, 2 seasons ago, after WLL's rehabilitation of , the baseball team started utilizing Burr's Hill for their home games, because the town maintained baseball facility located at Veterans Field became more and more neglected.

Most people in town are unaware that the KMS baseball team now has to bus their kids to Colt State Park to play home games because Burrs Hill has been deemed unplayable by the KMS Athletic Department. Along with Warren Little League, the KMS girls softball team utilizes the softball field at Warren Recreation Park for their after school practices and also home games, BUT I hope none of the young ladies on the softball team have to use the restrooms at Warren Rec Park during practice or games, because if you haven't noticed yet, those are completely out of order as well. We have visiting teams coming in from out of town to play baseball and softball and our coaches are forced to tell visiting players and parents that we have no facilities for them to use.

WLL has many dedicated and passionate volunteers that do everything in their power to keep the fields in playable condition, unfortunately the Town of Warren  is not as dedicated to the youth baseball program in this town.  Town officials need to be made aware of and held accountable for such neglect.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kevin Ferias April 16, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Barney- your cure is a logical one, but I truly feel with just a tad better scheduling of our DPW's dedicated employees, there is no need to incur additional help/costs. This issue has been brought to light for decades now and why it's not managed better is still puzzling. At this time EVERY year, the town knows Spring & baseball season is approaching, and fields need to be spruced up, facilities cleaned and operational and ready to go. Actually, WLL must hold it's own "Field Maintenance Day" in April where coaches and parents go from field to field, raking, cleaning and getting the fields ready for the season, because the town does not do it. It takes us amateurs approx. 10-15 hours to complete the job. So why the town cannot manage those duties is the grand mystery we are trying to solve here. Thanks for your support and I will end this blog with this... we can only hope that bringing theses issues to light might garner some changes- after all, everything we're trying to accomplish is only for the betterment of the kids and reputation our great town. Wish us luck!
brian m April 16, 2012 at 10:37 AM
I believe that the hwy dept has been short handed. Employees out injured etc. for a long time. Also the field behind child street school has always been cut. I was involved years ago with Ted Abrain as pres. and always had parrents helping to get the fields ready. The 21 cents on the tax rate would not help in maintaning the fields. Also a lot of money was raised by the league and put into the fields.
Walter Burke April 16, 2012 at 01:53 PM
The fields in Bristol are maintained by the Parks and Recreation department not Bristol DPW. Approximately 16 years ago I developed a Landscape Contract with Specifications for all our sport fields, roadside cuttings and 36 Rights of Ways and 17 parks. We have also obtained many grants such as "Baseball Tomorrow Fund" under major league baseball. Like Warren, Bristol has a lot of incredible volunteers. I would be very happy to share this information and anything else that would assist our friends in Warren. Just a note of a common mistake; Colt State Park does not have any sport fields. The fields are in the Bristol Town Beach and Sport Complex next to Colt State Park. We are allowing KMS to use our fields due to a request of the athletic director and are happy to do so. I am a proponent of sharing ideas and information. If we all work together, in a proactive manner we can move forward. Good Luck
B McShane April 16, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Mr. Burke thank you for the support and I'm sure the WLL board of directors would love to hear about the system you have put in place, thanks again.
Tammy L Mojkowski April 16, 2012 at 09:40 PM
As a parent of a baseball player for the last 13 years. I am a Bristol resident but my son plays for Portsmouth. Us parents get together and maintain the feilds (once the feilds are done) many many times. Volunteers Volunteers. Do not depend on the town. Unfortunetly they "Have better things to do" and " Not enough money". Baseball is a favorite sport of many young boys and girls. Parents get together and maintain the feilds for your kids. A little bit from everyone goes a VERY LONG WAY!

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