The City of Aberdeen continues to approve contracts for major repairs to Ripken Stadium, despite being sued by the owners of the stadium’s tenant, the Aberdeen IronBirds minor league baseball team.

The mayor and City Council unanimously approved Monday night an $87,000 contract with Hughesville-based Boblits Enterprises LLC.

Advertisement

City leaders approved in late January a $535,000 contract with Brayman Construction Corp., of Saxonburg, Pa., to repair a failing retaining wall on the third-base side of the stadium, and more repair work is expected, such as replacing the field lights.

Mayor Patrick McGrady asked City Manager Randy Robertson if the roof repairs would be complete before the IronBirds’ opening day on June 14.

Robertson replied that “every bit of work that we’ve been asking [for], between lights, walls and roofs,” is expected to be finished by opening day. The team plays in the New York-Penn League and has 38 home games.

Aberdeen files countersuit against Ripken, Tufton over stadium maintenance

Litigation includes a countersuit filed by the City of Aberdeen to the breach of contract suit filed last year in Harford County Circuit Court by Tufton Professional Baseball.

The council voted unanimously, in a separate matter Monday, to introduce Ordinance 19-O-02, a number of amendments to the current year’s budget. Robertson noted during the discussion on the roof repair contract that Ripken Stadium repairs are the largest line item in that budget amendment.

McGrady asked why the roof needs to be repaired. The city manager said it is nearly 20 years old. The stadium opened in 2002.

“It’s leaking, and we’ve documented at least seven or eight spots ... they’re not very visible leaks, but you see evidence thereof,” Robertson said.

Robertson said city public works officials and representatives of the contractor have looked at the roof.

“The assessment is, the membranes are shot,” he said. “It needs a complete roof replacement.”

Robertson told city leaders that the cost of the project is “substantially cheaper than what we were thinking.”

Boblit’s offer of $87,000 was the lowest of four bids — the highest, more than $610,000, was made by Alternatives Renewable Solutions LLC, according to a city document.

The city manager said he would not count that high bid, however, and noted the “fairly tight shot pattern” between the other three, including $87,000 from Boblits Enterprises, $91,900 from Ron Ruff Roofing Inc. and nearly $118,000 from St. Mary’s Roofing and Home Improvement LLC.

New programming to begin Tuesday at Aberdeen Recreation Center

New programming will be added Tuesday at the “new” Aberdeen Recreation Center, city officials announced Monday.

McGrady asked if there is any reason to believe that additional work will be needed when the contractor gets into the roof, such as rotten plywood.

Robertson and Public Works Director Kyle Torster said the contractors include a line item in their bids, consisting of extra funds, about 5 to 10 percent, for any contingencies.

Torster said, in response to another query from the mayor, that the new roof will come with a warranty of 20 to 25 years.

Advertisement

“I look forward to seeing the beautiful, new, 25-year warrantied roof,” McGrady said after he and the council voted to accept the contract.

City leaders are approving contracts to repair Ripken Stadium, which the city owns, even as the IronBirds’ ownership group, Tufton Professional Baseball LLC, has sued Aberdeen.

Tufton, whose majority owners are former Baltimore Orioles and Harford County natives Bill Ripken and Cal Ripken Jr., sued the city last October alleging breach of contract after months of disputes between Tufton and the city over management of non-baseball events at the stadium.

Aberdeen counter-sued Tufton in January, claiming the firm has failed to live up to its obligations on stadium maintenance.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement