Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Dug Out Shut Down

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Dug Out Shut Down

The Dug Out batting cages at Braddock Park, 13451 Braddock Road, Clifton.

The Dug Out batting cages at Braddock Park, 13451 Braddock Road, Clifton.

The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) forced us to close the Dug Out on May 1, 2018, after 25 years of operation. We designed, constructed and operated the Dug Out using no public or FCPA funds. Since opening, we have paid FCPA hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent, but more importantly, provided a recreational facility which FCPA was unable to provide. In our opinion, the FCPA will demolish this facility as they did our miniature golf course. Why? We do not understand.

Five years ago, they forced us to close Islands In The Park. During that closure FCPA spent in excess of $180,000 with a nationally recognized law firm to oust us. Last year they spent approximately $170,00 in removing the facility. We have had thousands of patrons come to us and ask why? We do not understand.

In closing the Dug Out, the FCPA invoked a Lease provision which states, “FCPA reserves the right to terminate this agreement if in the best interest of the FCPA and the residents of Fairfax County….” I do not believe they have grounds for termination and do not agree that it is in the best interest of the residents of Fairfax County. Our patrons love us. Many people provided us with statements which confirmed that closure was not in their best interests.

If you believe it is not in your best interests to see this facility closed and razed, you may consider contacting Supervisor Pat Herrity, or the Executive Director of the FCPA, Kirk Kincannon. Their contact information is:

Supervisor Pat Herrity, Springfield District

6140 Rolling Road, Springfield, VA 22152

springfield@fairfaxcounty.gov or 703-451-8873

Mr. Kirk Kincannon, Executive Director FCPA

12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 927, Fairfax, VA 22035

kirk.kincannon@fairfaxcounty.gov or 703-324-0702

Supervisor Herrity appoints a Park Authority board member for Springfield District. His name is Michael W. Thompson, Jr. Mr. Thompson has not returned any of our attempts to contact him concerning this or other matters.

In summary, of the past 25 years, we have enjoyed serving the hundreds of thousands of Fairfax County’s residents. We had one of the best batting cage facilities in the nation.

Thank you for your support.

Bernard C. Voyten, Jr., PE, Leed AP