Prospects of replacing all the fencing around the city-owned Throgs Neck Little League property, which was in worse shape than anyone could have imagined, looked shaky, but funds have been found.
Councilman Jimmy Vacca pledged a grant of $150,000, above a $250,000 grant he secured for the league three years ago, during opening day ceremonies on Sunday, April 10.
An inspection in August 2010 by the Department of Design and Construction’s fencing contractor, Security Fence, found that both of the two 40-foot-tall fences running along the larger field on Harding and Kearney avenues had cracks in their posts that compromised the fences’ structure.
The fences prevent fly balls from exiting the field and hitting nearby parked cars or houses.
“This project has cost more than was originally expected, and I promised on opening day that I would allocate additional funding to complete the fencing project,” Vacca said. “I fund many little leagues all over my district, but because this particular league is located on city-owned property, it becomes much easier to provide funding to replace the fencing.”
The extra money would replace a 40-foot-tall fence running along the leagues property on Kearney Avenue between Harding and Schurz avenues, Vacca said.
The original $250,000 grant to the little league was used for a new generator to provide power to the clubhouse and fields, as well as roof work and some fencing replacement, said league secretary Frank Eisele.
The fencing contractor is currently putting the finishing touches on a new 40-foot-tall and 225-foot-long fence along Harding Avenue, which the league financed with Vacca’s first grant.
“When I met with Councilman Vacca’s staff a few weeks ago, $150,000 was the number that I gave them and that is how much was allocated,” Eisele said. “I may still approach additional elected officials for other grants.”
If the fence posts were to fail, Eisele doesn’t believe the fence would necessarily collapse, but he doesn’t want to take any chances.
“If it went one way, the light post would probably hold it up, and if it went the other way, trees would probably keep it up,” Eisele said. “But the point is that at least now we are moving forward and we know that in a year or two the fencing is going to be replaced.”
Vacca’s announcement came as part of an opening day ceremony that included U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, a representative from Congressman Joseph Crowley, Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, and Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
As part of the parade and ceremony, the wife and mother, respectively, of long-time coaches Richard Orzo, a coach of 50 years, and Charlie Torres, a coach for 25 years, who both passed away, were given flowers.