While the Lindberg Park Master Plan has only been recently approved, township residents are already implementing one recommendation, with the approval of the Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners.
A request by the Hamilton Park Athletic Association to install baseball-softball batting cages in Lindberg was approved by a 5-0 vote by commissioners at the March 14 township meeting.
The cages, estimated to cost $6,000, are part of the Lindberg Park Master Plan.
HPAA will fund the cost and installation at no charge to the township, with the exception of time spent by Public Works Department personnel in site preparation, to be completed by April 2.
Netting is to be installed by April 7.
"Opening Day" is projected for April 8.
The batting cages are part of the park's master plan Phase Three.
"I think it's great,"' Commissioner Debra Brinton said. "You have something that's Phase Three and now you're going to Phase One."
Two batting cages would be installed adjacent to the tennis courts.
HPAA accelerated the installation for use during the spring season.
The batting cages will be available for public use when HPAA practice is not underway.
Polyethylene netting for the cages would be temporary, set up during baseball season, roughly mid- to late-March through early November. The nets would be stored off-season.
HPAA volunteers will erect and take down and store the nets and would perform maintenance on the nets and poles.
Five pairs of galvanized steel poles for the cages would be permanent.
"My only concern is that once you take the net down, you're going to put something on the poles," BOC President James Brown said.
It was recommended the poles be painted to make them more visible.
"One of the things we identified was more efficient use of the park," Mark Wilson, HPAA board member, and baseball and softball coach, told the BOC.
The cages will allow multiple use of the fields through batting-focused practices, permit two teams to practice concurrently on each field by rotating between field and cages and would enable players to get in more batting repetitions in shorter amounts of time.
The cages would provide more safety, allowing parents and children to not have to chase balls around the park, especially in wooded areas where there is poison ivy, nor on Lindberg Avenue.
"It happens every practice where we have kids or parents out to retrieve balls on Lindberg Avenue," Wilson said.
The cages would also prevent persons or vehicles from being struck with baseballs.
Cory Goff, Muhlenberg College Athletic Director and also an HPAA member, has installed similar cages at an Allentown park.
An area of approximately 16 ft. by 120 ft. would be prepared, using weed-blocking fabric, limestone or shale gravel, with removal of about four inches of topsoil. The length matches the width of the tennis courts.
"You'll be able to get in these cages immediately upon the stopping of the rain," Wilson said.
"We've already told the kids that it's happening and they said, 'That's awesome, coach,'" Wilson said.
BOC vice president Robert Martucci Jr. asked about the township's liability.
"It's our property so we still have the liability issues," township solicitor, Atty. John W. Ashley said.
On onsite meeting between HPAA representatives, township Public Works Director John Andreas and township Manager Randy Soriano was held March 1.