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Board OKs plan for ball diamonds

The Aurora Town Board gave its blessing Monday to a little Field of Dreams.

Board members approved the ball diamond layout for the athletic field area of the Gleed Avenue complex.

The only change is that the town will construct one less diamond than it had planned.

"It's too tight on space with the seventh diamond," Recreation Director Peggy Cooke said after the meeting.

As a result, the town will build six diamonds instead of seven. A small-sized softball diamond, a full-sized hardball diamond and four smaller diamonds for T-Ball and Midget leagues will be constructed, with some of the work beginning this spring. Plans for a full-sized softball diamond has been scrapped.

The project cost is estimated to be $42,000, with the town doing the work in-house. The diamond plan is part of a greater effort to centralize ball diamonds at Gleed and help ease the overuse of fields at the village's Hamlin Park.

Built first will be the full-sized diamond, followed by the small softball diamond, and then rounding out the project will be the construction of the four smaller T-Ball and Midget diamonds. The diamonds will be used by youth ages 5 to 17, as well as adult leagues.

The town Monday also kicked off the Baseball & Softball Diamond Capital Campaign, which will allow residents and businesses to donate money to help the effort, secure lifetime field naming rights or donate toward a backstop plaque or players bench. Brochures detailing the effort say, "Build it and they will come."

The ultimate goal is to have ball played on the new diamonds in the summer of 2013.

The town also set up a trust and agency account to accept donations, which are tax-deductible, for the ball diamond effort.

In other matters:

*Police Chief Ronald Krowka announced that a number of items stolen from unlocked cars recently in the Griffin Mills/West Falls area have been recovered by Lancaster police. Several vehicles were unlocked, and items such as GPS devices, iPods and change were taken.

*The Town Board learned that the town will receive partial funding on a grant it sought for an energy audit grant on the town's Gleed complex. NYSERDA has agreed to fund $2,800, representing half of the $5,616 audit cost, while the town kicks in the remaining part.

*Butterwood Desserts, in West Falls, is leaving the town. The board set a public hearing for Feb. 13 on the business' plan to leave and meet requirements for state Empire Zone benefits.

The hearing is required for the dessert company to qualify for Empire Zone benefits.