OKC Ending Lease With Putnam City Athletic Association
OKLAHOMA CITY -
A well-known little league field may soon look very different.
The Putnam City Athletic Association leases land near Lake Hefner and off of Britton Road, known as PCAA Fields.
The land is actually owned by Oklahoma City's Water Utilities Trust.
The PCAA President Mark Lovelace said they've been leasing the space that now houses five fields for about 50 years.
"I’ve been here for over 40 years and, you know, 50,000 kids have gone through this program and we play over 800 plus games a season," said Lovelace.
Lovelace said Tuesday, June 11, he was told the city would not be renewing their lease.
"They called a meeting, and I thought it was just to renew our lease. But when I got there, they just told me they decided not to renew our lease," said Lovelace.
The athletic association president insisted that usually the City contacts them when it’s time to renew the lease, but he didn't hear from anyone.
The City said it's the responsibility of those leasing the property to touch base with the city at least 30 days before their agreement expired. Water Utilities Trust spokeswoman Jennifer McClintock said the PCAA did not do this, and the current lease was up in March 2019.
"Ultimately, this boiled down to a matter of a contract," said McClintock.
She said they are still working out what's next for the fields and the fall league that the athletic association has already planned. McClintock said she knew City staff had sat down with Lovelace to what the options were.
In the meantime, the City is encouraging anyone playing at PCAA to touch base with the Oklahoma City Parks Department and see what little league options are going to be available in the future.
"We certainly want people to continue to play ball there, and the Parks and Recreation Department would be more than happy to welcome them into any program that they do," said McClintock.
The City's Utilities and Parks Department released the following statement to parents:
"The land at Britton Road and Hefner Parkway used by the PCAA is owned by the Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust. Because the land is used for youth baseball programming, the Parks and Recreation Department has been managing the contract for several years.
"In reviewing the contact, we have identified multiple areas where the PCAA management has failed to comply with the terms and conditions of the lease. We have agreed to extend the lease through December 2019 and work with the PCAA to develop a corrective action plan accordingly.
"If the PCAA is unable to comply, or chooses to go in another direction, the Parks and Recreation Department stands ready to provide high quality youth sports at the same location. There has been some miscommunication regarding the capability of the Parks and Recreation Department to provide quality youth athletics. We have a former professional baseball player on staff leading youth baseball and softball programs within our Recreation Division. We also have the support and sponsorship of the OKC Dodgers organization to provide youth baseball programs.
"If we are given the opportunity to operate this facility, we will gladly meet with the parents of the current leagues to discuss how to expand and enhance our youth sports in this portion of Oklahoma City."