A $450,000 grant for the City of Aberdeen to use for renovations to the Ripken Stadium parking lot was approved Wednesday by the Maryland Board of Public Works.
The grant will be used to coat the stadium's parking lot which hasn't had any major work done to it since the stadium was built nearly 12 years ago, Aberdeen Mayor Michael E. Bennett said.
"The original coating on the parking lot has held up this long, but it needs this final coat on it," Bennett said in an interview prior to Wednesday's Board of Public Works meeting.
During the 2013 Maryland General Assembly, Harford Del. Mary-Dulany James backed legislation to allocate state capital improvement funds for the design, construction, renovation and capital equipping of improvements to Ripken Stadium.
The legislation, however, incorrectly provided the grant to the Harford County Executive and County Council, not the City of Aberdeen.
Bennett said Ripken Stadium helps bind the community together and is a source of pride.
"It really brings the community together," Bennett said. "The Yard Birds really bring people out."
According to Bennett, it is often difficult to leverage funds for the renovations and upkeep of the stadium. He said since Harford County does not have a hotel tax, although Aberdeen has the majority of the county's hotels, he cannot leverage taxes through tourism to allocate for Ripken Stadium.
"This would allow me to take the burden of the stadium off of the taxpayers," Bennett said.
The Aberdeen City Council approved the renovation project contract for Daisy Construction, Doug Miller, Aberdeen City Manager, said. He said the company has a two-week window between March 24 and April 4 to finish the work.