Johnston County approved two of three Greater Cleveland Athletic Association requests for open space funds totalling $76,000.
The third item on their $134,000 wish list may also come to pass: the county will evalute the old Cleveland High School Gym roof for leaks and take responsibility for repairing it.
The granted money will re-pave a pot-holed driveway around the gym and replace aging wooden light posts at three ballfields that the organization has deemed a structural safety threat.
GCAA president Carlos Womack said in an email to the organizaiton that repairs would begin “ASAP.” He said the money would go a long way to improve facility and lend stability to the future of the organization, which serves 1,500 children filling 3,000 roster slots in different sports.
About $230,000 of the open space funds available in Johnston County will go to the Cleveland area. The open space fund is a dedicated pot into which developers pay a fee if they don’t create a given amount of park space within their developments.
The GCAA believed it had a good chance at the funds, thanks to the number of residents served and the decaying conditions of the facilities in question.
Womack said a hard rain leaves water on the gym floor, occasionally preventing play. Floor damage adds to the cost, he said. He also said the cost of the various improvements would have forced the league to raise its $100 league entry fee without outside help, an option he wanted to avoid.
Womack’s letter thanked Tom Dandenau and Johnathan Breeden for “getting the ball rolling on these funds and seeing it all the way through to the end.”
Breeden, whose son plays T-Ball, said everyone in the organization is very by the decision and thankful for the county commissioners.
Breeden had said the light posts presented a particular danger and “could fall at any time.”