Bixby taxpayers invested millions in a ballpark and residents said they are not seeing a return.
At the next City Council meeting Monday, councilors are going to talk about Bentley Park. It’s the facility voters approved a multimillion-dollar bond to build four years ago.
“This is the World Series but it’s like the Super Bowl for these kids,” said Helen Hattabaugh.
As promised, Bentley Park brings in tens of thousands of young ballplayers from all over Oklahoma and neighboring states.
“This is like the Mecca. We just love it,” Hattabaugh said.
“I believe it’s a revenue source of close to $300,000 a year,” said city councilor Richard Stewart.
But the City of Bixby gets only about $24,000 of that. FOX23 asked how much taxpayers spend to maintain it.
“I think it’s more than $24,000,” Stewart said.
That means taxpayers are spending more to maintain the park than they’re getting from the company running it.
FOX23 learned the city contracted it that way. An independent operator runs the activities at Bentley Park and the agreement both parties signed said the city would get about $24,000 each year.
“It’s problematic,” Stewart said.
The council will spend the Monday meeting talking about ways to refocus more of that money on the city. The current contract runs through 2017.