Fight To Save Batting Cages


THE DECISION PROMPTED PROTESTS AND MADE NATIONAL HEADLINES. A NEW AGREEMENT WILL ALLOW SMALLER AMERICAN FLAGS. AFTER FOUR DECADES IN BUSINESS, A BUSINESS IN NASSAU COUNTY MAY HAVE TO CLOSE. IT’S ON STATE-OWNED PROPERTY AND MANAGERS ARE TRIPLING THE MONTHLY RENT. THE BUSINESS HOPES PEOPLE CAN STEP UP TO HELP. Reporter: JUST UNDER THE APPROACH LANES FOR PLANES LANDING AT JFK IS THE FIVE TOWNS MINI GOLF AND BATTING CAGE COMPLEX. FOR ALMOST 40ERS YEAH, LOCALS HAVE ENJOYED THE AREA. BUT THE LAND IS OPENED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION. THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS LOOKING TO RAISE THE MONTHLY RENT BY ALMOST $8,000. IF IT’S GOING TO BE THE RENT — THE RAISE THAT THEY’RE ASKING FOR, WEATHER WOULD HAVE TO CLOSE — WE WOULD HAVE TO CLOSE DOWN. Reporter: THE OWNER SAYS HE CAN’T AFFORD IT ESPECIALLY SINCE HE SPENT NEARLY $100,000 REPLACING THE BATTING CAGES, RUINED BY SUPERSTORM SANDY’S FLOODWATERS. SEVERAL AREA BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL LEAGUES DEPEND ON THESE BATTING CAGES AND HUNDREDS OF KIDS WOULD BE DISAPPOINTED IF THEY CLOSED. I COME EVERY FEW DAYS PLAY IN A COUPLE LEAGUES AROUND HERE. IF IT WASN’T FOR THIS PLAY, I WOULDN’T BE PLAYING BASEBALL. Reporter: SHELLY COMES EVERY WEEK TO WATCH HIS GRANDSON PERFECT HIS SWING. I THINK IT’S OUTRAGEOUS, WAY TOO HIGH. THE GENTLEMAN THAT RUNS THIS PLACE DOES A FABULOUS JOB. THEY ARE JUST SQUEAKING BY. Reporter: A SPOKESMAN FOR THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SAYS THE RENT INCREASE IS LONG OVERDUE ADDING THAT ALL DOT PROPERTIES IN THE FIVE INCHES TO AREA WERE SUBJECT TO A RENT INCREASE MORE REFLECTIVE OF THE REGION’S CURRENT PROPERTY VALUES. BUT 1700 PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY SIGNED AN ONLINE PETITION CALLING FOR A RENT ROLL BACK. AS A RESULT, MATT ROSEN SAYS STATE OFFICIALS HAVE ASKED TO MEET WITH HIM IN THE COMING DAYS. WE ARE ENCOURAGED AND HOPING WE CAN COME TO A REASONABLE AGREEMENT WITH THEM. Reporter: OTHERWISE, THE CLOSED SIGN USED IN THE WINTER MONTHS MAY BECOME PERMANENT. IN LAWRENCE, JESSICA MOORE, CBS 2 NEWS. THE OWNER WORRIES THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION MIGHT WANT HIS PROPERTY FOR A TRUCK MAINTENANCE YARD.

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