A request resident Adam Martinez made months ago of Uvalde City Council gained momentum on April 11 when Uvalde City Council approved the construction of three new baseball practice fields at the sports complex.
Council members approved a proposal for $29,050 from Hernandez Fencing of Crystal City to construct the fields. The company is already doing work at the sports complex.
Councilman Ernest W. “Chip” King III asked if the city needed to obtain more than one bid.
Mayor Don McLaughlin Jr. said no, the city does not need to obtain more than one bid for projects under $50,000.
City manager Vince DiPiazza said the money will come out of a reserve fund used for non-budgeted expenses.
“We might normally get different quotes from this, but it followed on the heel of work that was already in motion,” DiPiazza said.
The new project entails installing four commercial-grade chain link fences at a cost of $11,250; three 10-foot high backstops totaling $9,000; and 20-foot high netting for road protection, plus all other project materials and labor.
At the behest of Councilman Everardo “Lalo” Zamora, the fields will utilize removable mounds so they may also be used for softball.
“Adam is here and, like I said, he brought it to our attention. He also has some people that want to volunteer their time out there once we do this, to start working,” McLaughlin said.
Martinez, president and founder of community action group Keep All Righteous Minds Aware, also known as K.A.R.M.A, and executive director James C. Alvarado, were present at the council meeting, which began at 6 p.m. at city hall.
“I’m just grateful that y’all considered it,” Martinez said.
He said he used to get kicked out of area fields not open to the public when he was a child. He said he wants children to have a place to play without having to deal with rocks or pests like ants.
“When I was a kid, my brother and I used to ride our bikes 5 miles and sneak into the ballpark. It would only take about 10 minutes before the city guy would come and kick us out, two kids just wanting to play baseball,” Martinez said.
“We proposed an idea of a public baseball field a few months back to the city and today they approved making three practice fields with fencing, bases, and necessary equipment.”
Martinez said members of K.A.R.M.A will be volunteering to help with construction on the project.
“We’re going to be anywhere from helping with the fences, digging, installing bases and all that good stuff. We’re going to be helping with the whole project,” Martinez said.
“Slowly we are raising the standards for our children. The days of practicing in rocks will soon be over.”