Sunday, November 23, 2014

Let it go? ORC asks for input on repairing damaged batting cages

By The Herald Staff | 8/4/2014

Damaging winds last month might have blown away the chances for repairs to the automatic batting cages at Orlis Cox Sports Complex.

The Ottawa Recreation Commission is planning a public hearing 6 p.m. Aug. 13 at the Ottawa Community Recreation Center/Goppert Building, 705 W. 15th St., Ottawa, to determine whether to invest more money into the automatic cages.

Damaging winds last month might have blown away the chances for repairs to the automatic batting cages at Orlis Cox Sports Complex.

The Ottawa Recreation Commission is planning a public hearing 6 p.m. Aug. 13 at the Ottawa Community Recreation Center/Goppert Building, 705 W. 15th St., Ottawa, to determine whether to invest more money into the automatic cages.

“It is a financial issue,” Tommy Sink, ORC director, said. “We have far more money invested than is spent being utilized. When we had those 60-70 mph winds go through [about a month ago], we had some extensive damage out there that is going to cost to repair again. I just asked my board how much money they want to stick into repairs in comparison to what the revenue off of batting cages are.”

The automatic batting cages are located near the west gravel parking lot at the complex, 106 Beech St., Ottawa. Sink said high winds damaged poles, pipes and nets.

While Sink didn’t have the exact numbers of how much has been invested versus how much revenue the automatic batting cages generate, he said the ORC will distribute hard numbers for those at the public hearing. The automatic cages have been at Orlis Cox for about 10 years, he said.

“I sure hope [residents] will come to the meeting,” he said. “The thing about it is there is the initial investment, the upkeep, electrical and, of course, some vandalism. All of this rolls into the numbers so to speak, and with the amount of income that we get off of it a year. This is taxpayers money. Do they really want to see it stay for the amount of money it costs to use it?”

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