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Worn bleachers and a rusty backstop will be things of the past come spring at Sharon’s ball field on Jefferson Avenue. Council awarded a contract Thursday for the field’s renovation.

The baseball field at the Johnny Pepe Recreation Area in Sharon is going to get a facelift starting in July.

Council awarded a $47,717 contract Thursday to Cottage Gardens of Hermitage to do work that includes a new drainage system, topsoil in three different areas and reseeding.

“Next year, by the spring, baseball will be able to use the field,” said Mayor Bob Lucas. “Soccer can use it in 2008.”

The Sharon High School baseball team uses the field for its home games, Lucas said, but the field has fallen into disrepair. Lucas explained that the field will need one growing season for baseball use, but needs two for soccer.

Part of the money used to pay for the field is coming from a $25,000 state grant, which Lucas said needs to be spent before June 30. There is also a fund that tops off at $12,600 that has been raised through donations. That leaves the city just more than $10,000 short of the contracted price.

“We need to raise at least ten-thousand more for this contract,” Lucas said. “We need at least twenty-thousand more to include new fences.”

Lucas said he plans to solicit help from Sharon businesses and to hold fundraisers to collect the rest of the money.

The contract with Cottage Gardens does not include new fences or dugouts. But Lucas said Sharon Little League volunteers already have the poles for the new fences and have commitments for work on the dugouts.

Lucas said that a lot of the work will get done through the help of the volunteers. The Little League volunteers previously helped renovate Wengler Field, North Sharon Field and the field at Buhl Farm.

The volunteers will put in an electrical line to the press box and score board. They’ll also add a new water line. Bill Novosel, owner of Billy’s Black and Gold in Sharon, is donating his “ditch witch” to help the volunteers dig the holes, Lucas said.

The volunteers will also tear down the current fences and take out the players’ benches.

The crew from Cottage Gardens will take over after July 27, when the volunteers finish their part, and the field will be done by Oct. 1, Lucas said.

“If everything goes as planned, come next spring we’ll have a ballfield we can be proud of.”

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