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Town, nonprofit in talks to build baseball complex

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YOUNGSVILLE — The North Wake County Baseball Association is in talks with the town of Youngsville to relocate its athletic events to a future sports complex the town would finance and build.

The proposed partnership has yet to come to any agreement, but officials in a statement Tuesday said the town would own and operate the baseball complex if the plans move forward. North Wake would lease the fields under a 15-year contract.

North Wake is a nonprofit organization that coordinates baseball leagues for kids as young as 5 through the second year of collage.

North Wake currently holds its youth baseball games at The Factory in Wake Forest. That lease expires at the end of 2020, according to a town of Youngsville press release.

“We are excited to be exploring this opportunity with Youngsville to secure a new home,” Mark Hammel, North Wake board president, said in the release. “For the 40 years we’ve been around North Wake has always had excellent participation from Youngsville and Franklin County, and we have the greatest respect for Youngsville as a community. We couldn’t think of a better hallmark to our 40th year.”

North Wake reached out to the town earlier this year to discuss a partnership. The plan would be for the town to buy land and build the sports complex using a bank loan, which would require approval by the town’s board of commissioners. Monthly lease payments from North Wake would offset the cost of debt payments, the town said.

Town Administrator Phil Cordeiro called the proposal “an excellent example of a public-private partnership” that would “enable us to provide wholesome youth sports programming that we otherwise could not afford.”

He emphasized there is a lot of planning and discussion before any agreement will be reached. The potential cost of the complex was not available.

“The board of commissioners will only move forward with a plan that is financially self-sufficient and result in the town being in a better position during and after the agreement,” Mayor Fonzie Flowers said in a statement. “Because we have a robust and growing parks and recreation program, I think this may be a great way to provide the future capacity we’ll need for decades to come — and in a way that allows our current programs and travel teams to coexist with North Wake in harmony.”