Hoskins Field neighbor says there is no pending lawsuit > PenCityCurrent.com

Davolt said in 2021 that he indicated an injunction could be sought

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
CCP EDITOR

FORT MADISON — A landowner near Bill Hoskins Field on the FMHS property said the district has not been threatened with legal action for foul balls that damaged his property.

Darrell Davolt, 2101 Avenue A, said Tuesday that he hasn’t filed a lawsuit against the district and he doesn’t know how the issue escalated over the past weekend on social media.

“There is no trial,” Davolt said. “We said we would seek an injunction if they didn’t want to put up a retaining fence to keep the balls off their property. But we didn’t and my lawyer said, ‘let’s not do that’”.

Davolt said the issue was before the school district. He said he understood the district was close to signing a deal with Baxter’s, but pulled out at the last minute.

“I was shocked that it blew up over the weekend. Everyone was calling me and saying I had a lawsuit and no, I don’t. I said they were welcome to come and see all the papers we gave to the superintendent. But once she gives it to their lawyer, you can’t talk to the superintendent.

“I don’t know where the rumor started from, but it went crazy.”

FMCSD Superintendent Dr. Erin Slater said she could not comment on the matter other than to confirm that lawyers were involved.

“The lawyers involved are continuing the conversation. That’s all I can say for now.”

Davolt said the district told him they wanted to work things out, but that may not be until the end of the season.

“There is no trial and I don’t think there will be one,” Davolt said. “They want to comply, but the letter I said they want to comply at the end of this season. Well, that’s not acceptable.

“What if I walk there or my grandson rides a bike or a battery-powered car and gets hit in the head? It’s not being responsible. The school system is a poor neighbor.

The problem arose when two trees were felled during the construction of the PORT trail which runs behind the softball and baseball diamonds. The two shafts helped prevent much of the foul balls hit over the backstop from going onto Davolt’s property. Now those balls regularly land in Davolt’s yard or hit a garage built behind the pitch.

A social media frenzy erupted over the weekend and the school district inquired about moving the games to the Baxter Sports Complex. An agreement had been reached to move the games to the complex on the west side of the city, but the district backed out of the agreement and still plays at Hoskins Field.

Denise W. Whigham