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Stray baseballs hit neighbouring house, costing P.E.I. town thousands

A home, left, only metres away from the fence of the Don Clark Field, right, has been getting baseballs smacking on its roof, landing in its pool.
A home, left, only metres away from the fence of the Don Clark Field, right, has been getting baseballs smacking on its roof, landing in its pool.

Fixing issue of balls hitting house, falling into pool, could total more than $10,000

KENSINGTON – Hard-hit baseballs could cost the Town of Kensington thousands of dollars.

The issue came up at council's recent monthly meeting.

A Lowther Street resident, who lives by the Don Clark Field, contacted Kensington Mayor Rowan Caseley saying that since the baseball season started dozens of balls have been landing on his property, some hitting his house and landing in his pool.

Recently, there was a near miss, as the man's wife, working outside in her flowerbeds, was almost hit by one of the stray balls.

"Most cases it was all rec leagues that played. His claim there is a team now that is playing that has a lot of long-ball hitters on it," said Caseley. "As a result of that, it is an issue now where it probably wasn't an issue before."

The mayor added that the homeowner - who couldn't be reached for comment - has had enough and now wants the town to address the issue.

"They consider it a safety issue, which, of course, so do we," added Caseley. "The normal fence has probably stopped 100 per cent of the balls before."

But a solution isn't simple - or cheap.

Geoff Baker, the town's chief administrative officer, said installing netting around the field, or at least in the area closest to the home, may be necessary.

Early estimates are that it could cost $10,000 to $12,000, money not in the budget.

The town took over ownership of the field in 2011, with this being the first complaint about stray balls, according to Baker and Caseley.

Asked if not having the fencing is a liability issue, the CAO added, "It has never been identified as an issue for us."

Until a permanent solution is found, ballplayers are being asked not to use the field.

"We will encourage teams to use the Lions' Field as much as possible, again, recognizing that it is not always going to be possible," said Baker.

One of the proposed solutions is putting netting along the homeowner's property, which, Caseley admitted, likely won't go over well.

But, to date, he added, "We had no discussions with the homeowner" on a solution.

"His house is the only one that is close enough that is getting hit," said Baker. "That is a long strike to get a ball over this pool, I tell you, a very long strike."

The CAO expected to have a written proposal, with options to address the issue, before council at its July meeting.

nancy.macphee@tc.tc

 

KENSINGTON – Hard-hit baseballs could cost the Town of Kensington thousands of dollars.

The issue came up at council's recent monthly meeting.

A Lowther Street resident, who lives by the Don Clark Field, contacted Kensington Mayor Rowan Caseley saying that since the baseball season started dozens of balls have been landing on his property, some hitting his house and landing in his pool.

Recently, there was a near miss, as the man's wife, working outside in her flowerbeds, was almost hit by one of the stray balls.

"Most cases it was all rec leagues that played. His claim there is a team now that is playing that has a lot of long-ball hitters on it," said Caseley. "As a result of that, it is an issue now where it probably wasn't an issue before."

The mayor added that the homeowner - who couldn't be reached for comment - has had enough and now wants the town to address the issue.

"They consider it a safety issue, which, of course, so do we," added Caseley. "The normal fence has probably stopped 100 per cent of the balls before."

But a solution isn't simple - or cheap.

Geoff Baker, the town's chief administrative officer, said installing netting around the field, or at least in the area closest to the home, may be necessary.

Early estimates are that it could cost $10,000 to $12,000, money not in the budget.

The town took over ownership of the field in 2011, with this being the first complaint about stray balls, according to Baker and Caseley.

Asked if not having the fencing is a liability issue, the CAO added, "It has never been identified as an issue for us."

Until a permanent solution is found, ballplayers are being asked not to use the field.

"We will encourage teams to use the Lions' Field as much as possible, again, recognizing that it is not always going to be possible," said Baker.

One of the proposed solutions is putting netting along the homeowner's property, which, Caseley admitted, likely won't go over well.

But, to date, he added, "We had no discussions with the homeowner" on a solution.

"His house is the only one that is close enough that is getting hit," said Baker. "That is a long strike to get a ball over this pool, I tell you, a very long strike."

The CAO expected to have a written proposal, with options to address the issue, before council at its July meeting.

nancy.macphee@tc.tc

 

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