National City needs to spend almost a million dollars to keep the lights on.
Tall athletic field lights at Las Palmas and El Toyon Parks are dated.
“These were put in like fifty years ago and they’re all in need of replacement,” said Mayor Ron Morrison.
Tuesday night, the National City City Council was expected to approve spending $900,000 to replace lights near the baseball fields at Las Palmas Park and adding lighting to the tennis and basketball courts at El Toyon.
“It doesn’t have that sexy quality to it,” admitted Mayor Morrison.
He said the upgrades are needed to improve the quality of the parks and the quality of life for National City residents.
“They would have a fit if we didn’t have the lights. The kids couldn’t play at night and the adults couldn’t play ball out here at night but at the same time they’re going, ‘You’re spending 900-thousand dollars for lights?’ Yeah, that’s what it costs,” he explained.
Sadly, Morrison said National City had money earmarked for the lights five years ago in its redevelopment fund. He said the State of California took that money during its own financial crisis.
“The State is a five-letter word,” he said with a smirk. “When they [the state] were going through their financial problems, one of their ways of dealing with their financial problems was stealing, I’m sorry, uh, re-appropriating money from everyone down below them, which was cities and counties.”
Morrison said they are not done with the parks either. He said he’d like to upgrade the restrooms and buildings at Las Palmas Park in the future as well.