Parents from a youth football and cheerleading league in West Haven want to know if a half million dollars was flushed down the toilet.
Three years after the state awarded West Haven the money for a renovation project at Veterans Memorial Park, another football season is about to kick-off and new bathrooms are not ready.
"It’s an eyesore, isn’t it," parent Bridgette Hoskie said, pointing to the unfinished bathroom facility where crews were working Tuesday afternoon.
"We had about 300 kids take the field last night plus parents using I think about maybe five porta potties," Hoskie said. "There’s no running water, there’s nothing and it’s just really aggravating because this is the third season."
Hoskie’s three boys played football for the West Haven Seahawks, who call the field at Veterans Memorial Park home. Now, her 12-year-old daughter Tianna is starting another season as a cheerleader.
"It’s just sickening," she said. "When we’re like one of the only towns in pop warner where the city doesn’t support them."
Promises about when this project would be finished from Mayor Ed O’Brien have been repeatedly broken, Hoskie said.
O'Brien said the bathroom facility would "absolutely" be ready in ttime for the start of football season.
"We wanted to have them open August 1. They’re delayed, there was an electrical issue, wiring that was done in the past that was uncovered. We have to take care of that," O'Brien told NBC Connecticut.
Another reason for the three year delay, the mayor said, was finding a construction company that offered a bid within budget and the city wouldn’t have to add to the $500,000 state grant.
"We’ll get this done," O’Brien said. "I do apologize for the delay, but it really was unforeseen issues that caused it."
O’Brien said the construction should be done by the start of next week.
Hoskie isn’t convinced.
"And the wiring they discovered a day or two before the season begun, that’s kind of convenient," she said.
President of the Seahawks’ Ray Tellier Midget Football League Mike Last said he is hopeful the bathrooms will be finished soon before the first games on Sept. 3 during Labor Day weekend.
"I think it will be an economic boost for the city and a great morale booster for our program," he said, adding once the facility is ready the site could host regional tournaments.