Future of Hazel Green Athletic Association up in the air

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. -- Members of the Hazel Green Athletic Association Board showed up in force Wednesday at the Madison County Commission Meeting. They say District One Commissioner Roger Jones is trying to replace the board in connection to a land dispute lawsuit over Billy Hunter Park in Hazel Green, a piece of which is owned by the county.

Since 2001 the Hazel Green Athletic Association Board has put their heart and soul into youth sports in their community.

"These are the group of people that have been fighting for this program for the past how many years. So what we're here for today is to allow HGAA to remain in place with the current board members," said Susan Davis, HGAA board member.

Now HGAA is saying they have been told a new board will go into effect September 29th, ordered by Commissioner Jones. Davis said this means they would no longer be a county program.

"We would be HGAA, however we would literally have to start from scratch. We would no longer have our programs, no longer have our funding, nothing," she explained.

HGAA serves more than 1,000 kids in six different sports. They describe themselves as the largest program of its kind in District One.

"The board in place that is being questioned have done extensive improvements to the program over the past few years. Before them being there, there had been no improvements for years on end," said Davis.

She said all they are asking for is a fair chance.

"We have given everything that we can here for the kids. If we have done something wrong, we are willing to try to right those wrongs so that we can stay part of the program," said Davis.

Lynn Gann has three kids involved in all the sports at the park. She said the community wants it to stay the way it is.

"We took it upon ourselves to form a rally in support of our ballpark. It's coming up this Sunday the 24th at 2:00," she said.

Gann said if the changes take place, her family probably won't continue to play at the park, because it won't be the same.

"We don't want to be pushed out, forced out,  and shoved out. So we're going to show that there is power in numbers," she said.

Commissioner Jones did not want to comment on camera at this time.

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