Clay-Chalkville ballpark in the dark - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Clay-Chalkville ballpark in the dark

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For the second time in a row, Clay-Chalkville's High School baseball team is starting the year in the dark. A booster club pays the ballpark's power bill. But the coach says the bill is too high and that's putting parents in a budget bind.

There's no power at the ballpark because the booster club is trying to figure out why the electric bill is so high. The problem has even led to players using their cell phones to light up the locker room. They're hoping something can be done to get the lights back on!

The Clay-Chalkville High School baseball team practiced hard Wednesday before the sun went down. Coach Brandon Johnson says "There's dark and baseball dark at 4:15 you're getting to the point you can't play without light." The lights don't turn on because the booster club hasn't paid its 8500.00 dollar bill for around three months of power.

Coach Brandon Johnson says for the last several years, bills to light this field have been unusually high. "Our recreational facility for 15 years had always paid this power bill for the whole facility and when it moved locations it left only this field operating, so it became our responsibility." The booster club had been paying more than 1,000 a month. "The bill when it was all one facility with 6 to 7 athletic fields was 1200 a month, now it's still the same."

Parent Mike Rodda says it doesn't add up.  "Parents have to carry a lot of the burden to make sure we have the funds in the booster club to support the program." Johnson hopes the issue can be resolved before next season so players can use their field.. and operate the concession stand. "We don't want to get out of paying what we owe, but we don't want to pay what we don't owe."

Johnson says the Jefferson County Schools Assistant Superintendent is looking into the matter. Alabama Power could not give us a comment because they don't discuss customer bills.

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