ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Little League on Long Island has one message for local leaders: Fix our waterlogged ballfields!
Vincent Romain wants to play tee-ball, but his helmet still sits in a trunk.
The wait in Central Islip continues.
His parents say the ballfields have turned into mud. Thanks to heavy rains, the entire complex, which features seven fields for tee-ball, baseball and softball on Eastview Drive, can resemble a small lake, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Monday.
“We have been trying to get these fields fixed for the last, I would say, four years,” said Joseph Hennie, the president of Central Islip Little League.
But the mud and water are just part of the problem.
There are holes in the fences, an unpaved parking lot, bare spots on the fields and unstable bleachers.
“Now I am getting concerned how much longer it’s going to last,” volunteer coach Leigh-Ann Barde Romain said.
While CBS2 was there, town workers arrived to empty garbage and mow the fields. Club leadership said phone calls, emails, and pleas at town meetings have gone unheeded and they worry it is because their Central Islip and Brentwood neighborhoods have no representation on the town board.
“There’s a hole here. Imagine an outfielder going for a ball and literally running right through here,” volunteer coach Roc Romain said, showing CBS2 a fence.
Some fences were repaired last week, but safety concerns remain.
“You have construction and they could literally go running right on to the field,” Roc Romain said.
Some neighboring Little Leagues have first-rate fields, said parents. They said they love their community and want this to be a safe gathering spot.
“We are really proud of what we do here. Your team becomes your family,” Leigh-Ann Barde Romain said.
“The problem is the engineering and construction, and those things have to be fixed with town money to get it done,” Hennie added.
Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter claims her administration inherited many of the problems from the developer. She said she plans to address all of the issues, including working with town engineers on a possible long-term flooding fix.