La Villa Optimistic New Baseball Park Will Attract Youth

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LA VILLA – “’If you build it, they will come,’” said Arnie Amaro, La Villa City Administrator, looking over the construction. The city is nearing the completion of their new baseball park.

Amaro, who was born and raised in La Villa, says he hopes it gives kids something constructive to do.

He tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS two nights ago, some kids out on four-wheel vehicles were tearing up some of the work they had just spent time on.

“It’s disrespectful to the workers and the community,” Amaro explained.

He hopes this baseball outlet will help kids like the ones who vandalized the baseball field find something better to do.

Amaro says providing young adults with things to do to keep them out of and off the streets is something many small towns across the Rio Grande Valley struggle with.

“It’s challenging and I think it has a lot to do with the day and age that we’re in right now. It’s hard to get the kids to do productive stuff,” Amaro said.

La Villa police tell us the town of less than 3,000 went through a bad phase last year with the legal synthetic-marijuana drug, spice. But since then, they only really struggle to keep kids on four-wheelers off the street, which is illegal.

“I hope that everyone takes advantage of it, I want to see these baseball fields full with the kids and their parents,” explained Amaro.

Ruben Rivera is the maintenance supervisor for the city. On this day, he and a small crew are helping Amaro with the construction. Rivera says they’ve worked on it since December.

Rivera has nine grandchildren of his own who live in La Villa. He says getting three of his grandsons to games can be tricky because sometimes one of them will have to go to Harlingen, while the other ones will have to go to Weslaco or other neighboring cities.

That’s not always possible for all kids.

“I see a lot of kids and they’re not in sports and they’re doing something they’re not supposed to be doing,” said Rivera, “This field is coming along good.”

“What really drove this is the youth league,” said Amaro. “Not being able to host games here in La Villa, our kids, our parents and our coaches have to go play in neighboring cities which works out, but we want to host them and have our kids play the games here at home.”

Amaro says overall, La Villa is very family oriented.

“We do have some small issues with the younger adults. It’s part of them growing up,” he said.

The project is budgeted for about $115,000 and the crew hopes to have the field done by mid-April.

Next Amaro says they’re planning a walking park and new playground equipment.

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