Editor's Note: A previous version of this story misspelled Lynley Holzapfel's name.
HAMDEN — The Hamden Village Council agreed Monday evening to allow a local resident to maintain and repair a village baseball field for five years.
The agreement allows Dean Prater, a baseball coach from Dundas, Ohio, to take charge of upkeep and renovations at the Hamden baseball fields for five years.
“There’s more than McArthur baseball fields, so it’s time to utilize them,” Prater said during the meeting.
Previously, Prater had worked last spring to paint and sand a smaller field in Hamden. This approval, he says, will allow him to begin work on the bigger Hamden field.
Prater is hopeful that renovating the Hamden baseball fields will bring in more business to Hamden and give baseball clubs more field choices should one field be affected by weather.
With council’s approval, Prater said the Hamden fields could host other baseball teams from Oak Hill, Beaver Creek, Wellston and Jackson. He added that his team, the Vinton County Youth Baseball Club, has already been approved to join the Jackson League.
“Up here, in the league now, they just play Wellston. If Wellston only has one team, we’re playing the same Vinton County team 5 to 6 times in a season,” Prater said. “So with this Jackson League, there’s more teams involved, and that will allow us to play more talent and make the kids better.”
“This is us just trying to get out of a sealed bag, to expand our options.”
In order to attract more kids to play baseball, Prater said that if the cost of joining is an issue, families can get in touch with him, adding that kids could potentially help out with the field or concession stands.
The Village Council also voted to bump pay of the village’s fiscal officer, Lynley Holzapfel to $16 an hour at 40 hours per week.
During the evening, Dale McManus, a former village councilmember, expressed his concern over the council convening with only three out of five members. Council was originally supposed to meet last Monday, but not enough members were present for a quorum.
“Looks like a set up deal,” McManus said. “If you got five members, three members can control your council meeting. They can control anything that happens in the town.”
“Three councilmembers could break the town in three months,” he added.
Councilmember Mike Claar said that is not going to happen.
“That’s an asinine statement,” Claar said.
Hamden Village Council meets the third Monday of every month at 6 p.m. at the town hall building.