Tower crashes onto local Little League field

Posted at 5:22 PM, May 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-05 21:18:37-04

National City contractors removed two more light towers from the Las Palmas Little League fields Thursday after another tower crashed onto the field.

National City Mayor Ron Morrison said the tower crashed onto the field and smashed through a fence Saturday morning. No one was on the field at the time.

"That would have been totally devastating," said Morrison.

Games with the Las Palmas Little League were immediately canceled and the park was closed. Morrison said they wanted to inspect the rest of the light towers, and he added it looked like the tower's base was rusted.

"When they were installed (50 years ago), they installed them very low at ground level. We wouldn't do that today. We'd have them raised up off the ground quite a bit," he explained.

In the meantime, Morrison said he arranged for the Little League to play games on field belonging to the National School District.

On Thursday, crews removed two more towers from the park that were rusted. Morrison expected games to resume after this weekend.

"So you're talking about a one-week time period and in government speak, that's faster than lightning," said Morrison.

Surprisingly, Morrison said none of the Las Palmas light towers were supposed to be there. Five years ago, National City set aside money to replace all of them and revamp Las Palmas park.

"That money went to cover the state's budget," explained Morrison.

California needed redevelopment money from its cities to pay its own bills. Morrison said it cost his city upwards of $7 million a year.

The state's budget woes are the same reason San Diego's Horton Plaza Park was delayed for years. The state took San Diego's redevelopment money, too.

"It was a huge disappointment," said Morrison, who added his city is struggling to fix its parks without that redevelopment money.

"We can't do all three of them at one time at our three major parks. There's just not that kind of funding," he told 10News.