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February 4, 2013

New Albany Little League may build own park

Site would be behind Northside Christian; Gahan has own plan on table

NEW ALBANY — Though Mayor Jeff Gahan has a plan on the table, New Albany Little League is moving forward with its own proposal to construct a new baseball facility. 

Northside Christian Church has announced it is in negotiations to sell a portion of its Charlestown Road property to New Albany Little League for new fields. In a response issued late Saturday, Little League officials said establishing a larger baseball complex has been a more-than-30-year process. 

“New Albany Little League Baseball has found a home that not only will triple the number of playing fields for our kids, but will also serve as an incredible backdrop for green space in an under-served park community,” read the statement, which was issued by New Albany Little League President Mark Boone. 

The Little League Park is currently located off Mount Tabor Road, but parking, congestion and safety issues have led to a renewed push in recent years to build a new facility. 

Last month, Gahan announced the city had plans to construct a Little League park as part of a bond issue that would also include new soccer fields and an aquatic center. 

The former Hoosier Panel site off Silver Street had been discussed by the city as a possible location for a Little League park. The city’s project is estimated to cost up to $5 million. 

Little League officials have said the organization’s proposal is less expensive, though an exact cost hasn’t been released. 

Both the city and New Albany Little League submitted grant requests to the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County last year for the projects. 

Gahan said Sunday Little League’s desire to move forward with a new facility is overall “good news”, but he cautioned there are issues that need to be resolved. 

Administration officials met with Boone last week and expressed their concerns with the Northside Christian location because, for one, it’s in a flood plain, Gahan said. 

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