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Council OKs $660,000 to buy Lunt ball fields

Greenfield recently closed on the baseball field property, paying $660,000 for them, so the town’s youngest baseball players now have three fields of their own to play on for another 50 or more years..  
(Recorder file/Paul Franz)

Greenfield recently closed on the baseball field property, paying $660,000 for them, so the town’s youngest baseball players now have three fields of their own to play on for another 50 or more years.. (Recorder file/Paul Franz) Purchase photo reprints »

GREENFIELD — It looks like the town’s young baseball players will have three baseball fields of their own to play on for possibly another 50 years.

Town Council voted to buy the former Lunt Silversmith property baseball fields for $660,000 on Wednesday night.

The town had wanted to purchase the entire former Lunt property on Federal Street, but decided recently to buy the ball fields, take ownership of the factory through a tax taking, because the owners of the property owe the town about $250,000 in back taxes, and let the owners or the Bankruptcy Court sell the design center, which is the newer building on the property.

Robert Pyers, the town’s economic development director, told councilors that the federal Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to clean up the contamination that was found on the property, so that won’t cost the town anything.

He said the EPA has also agreed to clean up any contamination that has migrated off the property.

Pyers said the town buying the ball fields and old factory building but leaving the design center won’t create any problems for redeveloping the property.

He said the ball fields will remain and will most likely be improved by the town, which plans to apply for park and recreation grants.

Precinct 3 Councilor Brickett Allis abstained, as did Precinct 7 Councilor Karen “Rudy” Renaud.

Allis said he was abstaining because he didn’t want to vote “no,” but couldn’t vote “yes” to the town spending so much money.

“The baseball fields are wonderful assets to the town,” said Allis.

A previous purchase and sale agreement between the town and the owner of Lunt expired in March 2013 and at about the same time contamination was found on and off the property.

Before that, the town had spent $130,000 on a two-year lease-to-own agreement with Lunt.

The town’s Recreation Department uses the baseball fields for its T-ball program and Greenfield Minor League has used the fields in the spring and summer for more than 50 years.

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