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Malta acquires farm

A potential for recreation

Town parks and recreation Director Audrey Ball told council members that while baseball teams are constantly clamoring for more fields, creating official baseball diamonds would require significant work grading the land, building a pitching mound and grooming the lawn.

To me, ball fields and open space still conflict, and we need to do the right thing in the right location, said Ball. "There's a high demand for baseball fields prior to opening day, but the use tends to dwindle after that, and there are lots of traffic and parking issues, because every parent drives their own car to the games."

Ball said she recommended the council seek options that would not alter the land and watershed areas.

"Lacrosse and soccer teams, for example, just need open fields, and when they use fields, they clean up, fill in the holes, and you never know they were there," said Ball.

Supervisor Paul Sausville suggested the town set up portable pitching mounds and a backstop.

"For a few thousand dollars, we could put out backstops, mow the fields, and offer it for use on a first-come, first-served basis," said Sausville.

Can the buildings stay?

Council members agreed it's the land, not the house that's the best asset on the property.

"This is a beautiful area, and a true open space," said Ball. "This would make a great pocket park, linking to Meadow View and Century Farms. It's also very important to preserve the barn. There's lots of focus right now statewide on keeping barns in rural landscapes."

Ball said a barn restoration program was created in 2000 by the state Legislature to help preserve historic barns and protect agricultural points of interest across the state.

"There are many state resources available such as matching grants and information for maintaining and adapting new uses of old barns," said Ball.

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