FARMINGTON — Local high school umpires claim that they have not been paid in a timely fashion for games they have refereed this year for the Central Consolidated School District.

A school district spokesman said the money is available and the district is working to determine why there have been payment delays.

Phil Salazar, who assigns umpires to games throughout San Juan County, said tension has grown between CCSD and the umpires this year.

"The officials who have gone out (to Kirtland and Shiprock) two or three times this year are fed up, and they don't want to go out there anymore," he said.

Two umpires are assigned for every high school varsity and junior varsity baseball and softball game. Umpires are paid $51 for a varsity game and $38 for a junior varsity game. There are 14 umpires in San Juan County.

High schools in the Farmington, Aztec and Bloomfield school districts, as well as Navajo Preparatory School, pay the umpires before every game.

The only schools that do not pay umpires prior to games are Kirtland Central and Shiprock high schools, which are under CCSD.

CCSD pays umpires between a week to a month after the games and still owes umpires hundreds of dollars, Salazar said.

It's not clear how many umpire fees have not been paid. Salazar said CCSD paid several umpires who were owed money, but the district was still short several hundred dollars.

Johnny Campbell, a local umpire, said CCSD only recently paid umpires for games worked at Kirtland Central, and the district still owes the umpires who worked Shiprock High's games so far this year. He said the amount of umpire fees still owed is close to $3,000.

"It's not a lot of money, but when we have umpires driving to Shiprock to umpire games and they are not getting paid, it's not right," he said. "Every other school district pays their umpires."

CCSD spokesman James Preminger said the principal of Shiprock High School plans to call umpires today to settle any financial disputes. He was not sure why there was a delay in getting umpires their money, and he wasn't sure how much money was still owed. But Preminger said the district has enough funds set aside to cover the umpire fees.

Ryan Boetel can be reached at rboetel@daily-times.com; 505-564-4644. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel.