Landrum Youth Association asks city for help

Published 10:13 pm Monday, October 14, 2019

Ball field lights have become a safety issue for children

LANDRUM—The Landrum Youth Association baseball fields need lights and the nonprofit is asking for help. 

Landrum City Council met Tuesday and heard from the Landrum Youth Association about the need for new lighting. 

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Brandon Ward, with the youth association, told council that the lighting system is beginning to fail and it is going to take a lot more than replacing panel boxes. The youth association has been in contact with lighting companies, with quotes being $329,000 and $370,000 to replace the light systems on all three ball fields. 

“We need your help,” Ward said. “Without it, our ability to provide a safe playing environment is hanging on to the life of the lights.” 

Ward said he does not care what the nonprofit association makes in registration fees and fundraisers, it cannot get enough money to even think about replacing the lights. 

“This is Landrum’s future coming up through here,” Ward said. 

The City of Landrum does not own the ball fields, the association does, but the city does make a donation to the Landrum Youth Sports Association annually. 

Councilman Shannon Dotson agreed that the lights are a safety issue. 

“Those posts are going fast,” Dotson said. “If it’s windy out there it’s scary for my kids out there playing. I think we need a new complex.”

Dotson said the current fields have served the community well, but there is a huge parking issue, the lights are an issue and the association cannot get tournaments out there because of the parking. 

“I would hate to spend that kind of money at that complex when that’s not all the issue,” Dotson said. 

He suggested investigating a new complex for the youth association. 

Carol Browning from the audience asked if the youth association has tried to write grants. 

Ward said they have worked on some but have not been successful.

Dotson said this is bigger than lights and it is not something that is going to happen over night. He suggested the youth association sit down with Landrum City Council to figure out a new complex. 

“We are willing to work with you,” Landrum Mayor Bob Briggs said. 

Dotson suggested in the meantime, the association looks into temporary lighting for the fields. 

Ward said the association has reached out to Spartanburg County. Spartanburg County Commissioner Bob Walker was in attendance and said the county parks and recreation system has taken over some programs, including recently in Inman and Chesnee. 

Walker said the city will have to be involved in order for the county to take it over. 

“If the city doesn’t mind, it can be taken over by the county, but there’s a procedure that has to be followed,” Walker said. 

Dotson asked Walker if down the road hypothetically speaking, Landrum wanted the county to take it over. 

Walker said Inman decided to give up their hospitality tax and the county took over their parks. Landrum has its own hospitality tax and that could be an issue if the county takes over its parks. 

Briggs suggested the youth association come back with a plan and said the city will work with them any way they can. 

The boards set a tentative meeting for Monday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. to discuss the issue further.