SYKESVILLE -- An undeveloped 90-acre tract of land in Patapsco StatePark in South Carroll will become the new home of the Sykesville Little League.

The tract was leased to the county for the next 50 years by the state, which stipulated that all development on the property was to be for recreational purposes.

The deal, signed Thursday by the County Commissioners, means thatbaseball diamonds, lacrosse and soccer fields and a wooded picnic area will come to the site on Raincliffe Road just outside of town.

The county must pay the Department of Natural Resources rent of $1 a year.

The agreement, considered unusual, was the idea of Delegate Richard N. Dixon, D-Carroll, who was approached by representatives ofthe Sykesville Little League about acquiring new playing fields. Their fields off Obrecht Road will be destroyed for a future road realignment project.

The 900-member Sykesville Little League is one of the largest in the state, said John P. Little, director of the CarrollDepartment of Recreation and Parks.

Planning for the ball fields already has begun, and the county is looking for a contractor for theproject. Public hearings and state Board of Public Works approval are necessary before any construction could begin.

Dixon had hoped the state would give the land to the county outright, but because it is part of a state park that receives federal funds, the state couldn't.

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