South Valley residents tired of balls flying into their yards from nearby park

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A ballpark in one South Valley neighborhood is striking out with residents who said they’re tired of the home-runs interfering with their life.

From balls in their yard to damage to their property, neighbors who live right behind Tom Tenorio Park said they’ve had enough and the nets don’t do their job.

“When they hit the balls over it’s hitting our animals, the kids, you know it’s just causing a lot of trouble,” said Martin Sandoval, a resident who shares the same fence with the park.

Sandoval has been living next to the park for almost 10 years and the experience has been anything but pleasant. He said every time there’s a game at the park, he and his family are quickly aware.

“Just a lot of noise at night and balls coming over,” said Sandoval. “Hitting our windows, denting the house, our truck, just causing damage.”

Just this weekend, Sandoval collected more than a dozen balls that have flown into his yard.

But Bernalillo County’s Parks and Rec. Department said neighbors won’t have to worry for much longer.

“At that point, it shouldn’t be an issue. It’s going to be a soccer field. We also have a great need for soccer fields in the South Valley,” said John Barney with Bernalillo County.

The renovations to the park also include moving the existing field to the other side of the park, away from homes.

“We have a million dollars from our 2016 bond, that’s creating this new field so that in the future when we go to make some other changes, we’ll always have three fields,” said Barney.

The project won’t be finished for at least another two years and the park will still be open to games throughout that time.

That doesn’t seem fast enough for Sandoval.

“I’m afraid of them getting hit with the ball. One of my daughters did get hit with the ball before, caused a welt on her forearm,” said Sandoval.

While the county hears the concerns from neighbors, they hope people can stay patient.

“Continue to work with us, you know it’s a process. This is the first time we’ve had a substantial amount of money to spend on a project,” said Barney.

The county will be spending $2 million in the next two years on the project. That money comes from a bond that voters approved in 2016.

The county said the park was built there way before any homes were around. They said at this point, they do not plan on raising the nets any higher.

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