Park board takes swing at use for vacant lot

9:00 am | March 13, 2013

What do skateboards, biking, and fishing have in common?

Photo by Danny DavisThe county’s Parks and Recreation Board discusses the possibility of building batting cages on a vacant lot south of Doe River during its meeting Tuesday afternoon. Commissioner Buford Peters, the county’s liason to the board, thought of the idea after taking his granddaughter to the batting cages at Winged Deer Park in Johnson City.

Photo by Danny Davis
The county’s Parks and Recreation Board discusses the possibility of building batting cages on a vacant lot south of Doe River during its meeting Tuesday afternoon. Commissioner Buford Peters, the county’s liason to the board, thought of the idea after taking his granddaughter to the batting cages at Winged Deer Park in Johnson City.

If you guessed baseball, you’re absolutely right.

County Parks and Recreation Board members on Tuesday discussed installing batting cages on a vacant lot east of U.S. Highway 19E, south of the Doe River.

The county has owned the land for years, and has entertained several ideas as to how to use it: as building a skate park, a dirt bicycle park, or a fishing hole.

Commissioner Buford Peters, who serves as the county’s liaison to the board, said the batting cage idea popped up after visiting Winged Deer Park in north Johnson City for his granddaughter’s softball game.

“I have to take her to those batting cages a lot,” Peters said. “You’ll stand in line, most of the time, from spring until it gets so cold you can’t do it. A batting cage operation would be a really good thing.”

Although Peters said he was unaware of how much a venture like this would cost, he noted the cages at Winged Deer required batters to step up to the plate financially before taking a swing.

“It’s $5 for the little tokens they give you,” Peters said. “And it’s the only one around. It’s a money-making operation.”
Board members were quick to express enthusiasm for the idea. J.R. Campbell said adults as well as children could take advantage of batting cages.

“That is a good idea,” Campbell said. “Everybody at this time of year gets the fever, and wants to go out and whack a softball.”

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