Parents fear lawsuit may threaten future of Hazel Green park - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Parents fear lawsuit may threaten future of Hazel Green park

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)
HAZEL GREEN, AL (WAFF) -

Families of children who enjoy Billy Hunter Park in Hazel Green say they are concerned that a lawsuit threatens the future of the park.

Several parents who were there Friday said the Hazel Green Athletic Association board has improved the park greatly and that they are suspicious of the motive behind a lawsuit brought by the Hazel Green Trojan Club asking to regain control of the park.

12-year-old Katie Grimwood has played softball at Billy Hunter Park since she was 4.

"I've met two of my greatest friends at the ballpark," she said.

Her grandmother, Skip Cook, said the park brings families together.

"It's important. It's a big part of our community, and it's a big part of what keeps our kids out of trouble and our community together," Cook said.

She and many others credit the Hazel Green Athletic Association with improving the park, but they fear that could change. The Hazel Green Trojan Club is suing the HGAA, claiming the club is the rightful owner of the property.

A countersuit claims the Madison County Commission debarred the Trojan Club from administering recreational leagues and the HGAA was formed to fill the void.

HGAA board member David Atchley said county Commissioner Roger Jones told the board that if they don't comply with the plaintiff's demand to return control to the Trojan Club, he will replace them with those who will.

Jones told WAFF 48 News he cannot comment on pending litigation.

The county owns the property adjacent to the park. Parents are concerned the lawsuit is a legal maneuver aimed to give the county a combined property to sell to developers.

Atchley said the HGAA board has tried to compromise, offering the club control of an area where tractor pulls used to be held.

Lynn Gann's three kids play several sports at Billy Hunter Park. Families like hers are asking for answers.

"We're here to support our kids and our friends. And we will not give it up without a fight," she said.

Youth baseball and softball tournaments begin at Billy Hunter Park on Saturday morning.

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