Op-Ed: New Canaan Baseball ‘Natural, Deserving’ Occupant of Mead Park Brick Barn

New Canaan Baseball (NCB) wants to move into Mead Park Brick Barn but the town continues to talk about its demolition.

Over the years, countless parties have wanted to occupy the space: Old Faithful, a bike shop, a flower shop, architects, not-for-profits, and now NCB. Historically, despite what the town says, third-party occupancy and even third-party investment in the Barn have not seriously been considered—in 2013, CT Trust awarded the town a grant for Barn work but it lapsed under the then first selectman who found implausible excuses not to seek Town Council approval.

This grant is but one example of various sources of possible external, non-Town funding from the state, federal government, foundations, and private interests. Some of these sources should be readily available and forthcoming.

NCB, a 501(c)(3) organization, is the ideal occupant for the Barn because Mead Park is its “home.” Their games are played there and they’ve invested over $1 million in park projects such as the rehabilitation of Mead Park Lodge (Apple Cart), restoration of diamonds (JV partnership with the town) and replacement of diamond lighting. They’re family-based (350 families involved annually with a legacy of thousands of New Canaan families) and engage our children in the American sport, promote community values since 1954, and bring meaningful money to projects which benefit not just them but the entire Town. Further, NCB will be a great steward of the property. And, the Barn will cease to be an eyesore—one of the town’s own making with admittedly zero dollars allocated to its maintenance.

I urge the Town Council and First Selectman Moynihan right now to work productively with NCB, who have asked about terms of occupancy in this available town space, rather than to discuss among themselves the Barn’s demolition which would rob the NCB kids of their earned “house” in their “home.” New Canaan Baseball is the natural, deserving, and responsible occupant for the Barn—it’s a home run for New Canaan!

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