CHAFFEE CROSSING (KFSM)—Baseball and softball season is just around the corner, but a tournament softball complex that’s been in the works for almost three years is still nowhere near completion.
“It's kind of a puzzlement,” resident Patti Shock said. “Sometimes we think it's big boys playing with toy trucks. They're just moving dirt from one space to another.”
The River Valley Sports Complex is being built at the corner of Roberts Blvd. and Taylor Avenue. It’s supposed to feature eight softball fields. Shock plays at the golf course across from the construction site in her free time.
“It's been a long time coming to see the buildings being erected or even the lights,” she said.
The city agreed to help pay for the project in 2014. It was initially supposed to be done in the summer of 2015, but with delay after delay, many people are frustrated with the lack of progress. City Administrator Carl Geffken said it’s time to fire the developers on the project.
“Given the need to complete the sports complex and the fact that the current contract did expire in July 31 of this year, we do need to move forward,” Geffken said.
Jake Files and Lee Webb have been the developers on the project. Files said they’ve been counting on donated labor, which has prolonged the process. They sent a plan of action to the city on Tuesday (Jan. 31), which lays out a timeline of having the project complete before the end of the summer.
“It's time to move forward and put this behind us where we can all move forward and realize the goal of the River Valley Sports Complex,” Geffken said.
Shock added her thoughts saying, “Either put more money in it, finish it and let it be used for what it's intended or let it go.”
Geffken said the city has contributed $1,080,000 of the $1.6 million they agreed to put into the complex. The money came from a quarter-cent sales tax passed in 2012.
City directors will vote on terminating the contract with Lee and Files at the next board meeting.