No public money used for Macon Little League ballpark repairs

New pieces of plywood make up the seats on the bleachers and in the dugouts at the Macon Little League ballpark on Anthony Road.

Above them are new roofs.

Slowly but surely, damage from last year’s Mother’s Day tornado is being repaired. And so far, it’s been done without one penny of public money.

The Bibb County Commission last month approved $40,000 for the project. But thanks to donations, so far none of that money has been spent, said Sam Kitchens, Bibb’s director of Buildings and Properties. Repairs weren’t made earlier because of confusion regarding the property’s ownership.

“I think we’re well on the way,” Kitchens said.

Officials at Lizella-based ECI Contracting Group have secured donated materials for the repairs from their suppliers and vendors. County employees have been providing the labor, Kitchens said.

“We went out and took a look at the job and saw it was really in disrepair,” said Josh Andrews, president of ECI Contracting, which has worked with Bibb on past projects. “We want to give back when we can.”

Repairs still need to be made to the two-story press box, which suffered roof, water and electrical damage, and the concession stand, Kitchens said.

He’s seeking volunteers for those projects, but because the repair work is a little more in-depth, some money may have to be used to hire a company for project management, he said. That would require the County Commission’s approval.

Since the repairs rely mostly on volunteers, Kitchens said he’s not sure how long it will take to finish. Some routine maintenance has been put off, so Bibb employees could work at the ballpark, he said.

Bernard Snell, a Macon Little League board member, said the project is “coming together really well.” Coca-Cola Co. has agreed to either repair or replace the scoreboard, he said.

“It’s taking a little longer than we hoped, but progress is being made,” he said.

To contact writer Jennifer Burk, call 744-4345.