Dare commissioners address ballfield conditions

Published 11:59 am Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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For two consecutive meetings, Melissa Gray from Manteo has talked to the Dare County Board of Commissioners.

She coaches softball teams in the Dare County Girls Youth Softball league. In her first conversation, she asked for restricted funding to support Dare County students and athletes in academic and athletic competition requiring travel beyond Dare County.

As it stands now, supporters of academic and athletic competition beyond Dare County raise money for competition travel costs and entrance fees.

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In her second appearance on August 1, 2022, Gray lamented the lack of tournaments hosted in Dare County.

“Our facilities need to be updated,” said Gray.

On two occasions, board Chairman Robert L. Woodard talked about the condition of ball fields at Kitty Hawk Elementary used by the Babe Ruth Baseball league.

The first occasion was at the 5-on-5 meeting on July 27, 2022. The meeting participants are three commissioners, three school board members, two finance directors and the superintendent of Dare County Schools and county manager Robert L. Outten.

Dare County has a Capital Improvement Plan for Parks and Recreation, said Woodard. He called for sprucing up the Kitty Hawk two ballfields sooner and recited a long list of maintenance items that need to be addressed. Additionally, he added items that needed attention at ballfields at First Flight Schools complex.

At the 5-on-5 meeting, Woodard said once Dare County maintenance crews address the clean-up items, then the county will seek memoranda of understanding with the ball leagues as to the maintenance responsibilities of the county and the leagues. Youth softball is played on fields in Manteo and Wanchese and on one field at Kitty Hawk. Babe Ruth baseball is played on fields one and two at Kitty Hawk Elementary and one field at First Flight Middle School.

At the August 1 board meeting, Woodard told Gray that he had met with the president of Babe Ruth Baseball League about the fields at Kitty Hawk and again listed the required maintenance items. He also included storage of equipment in a First Flight Middle shed. “It’s horrible.”