The city of Aberdeen plans to give Tufton Professional Baseball LLC, which oversees Ripken Stadium, more control by allowing the company to rent out space during the Aberdeen IronBirds' off-season, City Manager Doug Miller said.
Miller told the city council during a Monday work session that the city's memorandum of understanding with Tufton Baseball will change, as the Ripken Stadium Management Board no longer exists and the city is looking to take over responsibility.
Key provisions of the new agreement, which could run through 2016, would recognize that Tufton has use of the facility during the IronBirds season, as is provided by the concession agreement, but, "instead of the stadium reverting to the city, we would allow them to continue use and rent it out during off season," Miller said.
The city would have the right to veto any event at the stadium. Tufton asked for a list of guidelines in advance so the company knows not to rent it for certain uses, such as road rallies, Miller said.
The agreement would also not extend to the parking lot, about which the city is "very protective" and plans to re-pave soon, he said.
Miller also said a new water and sewer authority being organized by Harford County is in the very early stages of planning and cautioned that no decisions have been made on anything yet.
The plan would have a quasi-governmental water and sewer authority, with representatives from the county and each of the municipalities as well as other members, be solely responsible for providing water and treating sewage for the county, instead of letting the municipalities have individual control.
Miller said the county is doing a financial study with an engineer and "there are significant, significant questions that still have to be answered."
Mayor Mike Bennett added that those include how the county's three municipalities will annex or protect their borders and what they will look for in water and sewer rates.
Miller said he has concerns about how the authority will be governed, as "we are going to want significant representation from the municipalities."
"We don't want to be a stepchild to a county system," he said, adding the city also wants to make sure that, with the proximity to Aberdeen Proving Ground, people are not tapping into the water system or taking advantage of city infrastructure.
Councilwoman Ruth Ann Young asked if the city has discussed what would happen if one of the municipalities chooses not to participate?