Perryville Little League has asked for up to $17,000 for new dugouts at Trego Field, but the town is hesitant to make improvements, if they'll be moving the organization any time soon.
George Patchell requested the funding on behalf of the towns Little League teams during the mayor and commissioners work session Tuesday evening.
The youth baseball teams mainly use Trego Field, owned by the town and located just behind town hall, even though it is open to the public.
Patchell said the dugouts were mainly for safety reason as there are no fenced-areas on the field and no shelter from the sun as the kids wait to play.
There is a "real concern," Patchell said, about the kids sitting out in the sun for long periods of time.
Perryville Little League has already begun looking into how much the dugouts would cost, which would include a fence and tops on the dugouts.
Little League had applied for a grant from the town to have the work done, but since the work would be on Trego Field, it would be as if the town was giving a grant to itself.
Commissioner Barbara Brown commented that Little League has "made contributions to the field that we're unable to do" that has benefited the entire town. "Personally, I'd like to see us change the grant application to cover this."
She added that because Trego is public property it would be more than Little League that would benefit from the dugouts.
Commissioner Michael Dawson asked how quick the turnaround would be if the town funded the dugouts, specifically if the kids would be able to utilize the improvements this year.
Town Administrator Denise Breder said there would be other ways and possibly faster ways than re-applying for a grant or funding with money in the town's general budget.
Brown preferred if the organization went through the grant process to keep things consistent between non-profits.
Dawson said the town could fund the improvements through local impact money from the Hollywood Casino.
"Enhance the park. It's for the kids," he said. "I don't see a lot of money being spent on kids in this town."
Brown added that another curveball in the matter is that the town has seriously considered moving Little League to another area in town so a new town hall could be built on that property.
This idea has been floating around for several years.
In June 2010, Mayor Jim Eberhardt said the town had tried to strike a deal with IKEA, off of Firestone Road, for a portion of its land that was to be annexed.
The town also looked at the possibility of lighting the senior field at Perryville Community Park for the teams to use.
Brown seemed hesitant to spend so much money on a field that may or may not be around in a few years.
"We'll do what we can," she told Patchell, "but we don't want to build a lot of stuff because we have to pay more money if we ever move them [Little League.]"
She added that what she would really like to see is Little League have a state of the art facility, "but it hasn't happened and I can't control whether or not it does. Little League has to work with us."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun