CUMBERLAND COUNTY — Cumberland County has its own budget problems, but the county is spending big bucks to renovate a minor league ballpark.
J.P. Riddle Stadium is getting a facelift to kick off its new home team, the Fayetteville Swamp Dogs. The stadium is county property, which means the county has to pay for all the renovations.
"The buildings have to be maintained. They weather and age. Every three years, we try to paint them because the paint starts peeling off," says Larry Philpott, county director of parks and recreation.
More than $150,000 has already been put towards a new pressbox, P.A. system and bleachers.
The county is obligated to spend that money, based on last year's contract settlement with the Cape Fear Crocs.
Philpott says his department will still follow the county manager's request to streamline spending for next fiscal year's budget.
Jason Trask, the team's assistant general manager, says any money his team gets will be put to good use.
"We just want to provide something people can come out and enjoy," he says.
The parks and recreation department fund is separate from the county's general fund, which faces a $30 million deficit this year.