Stock photo, courtesy of Pixabay.

Chatham-Kent’s newly elected council is getting down to business.

In its first official meeting, and first in-person session since before the pandemic,

council unanimously approved a five-year lease to an Intercounty baseball franchise to use Chatham’s Fergie Jenkins Field starting in the spring of 2024.

As part of the lease agreement, the baseball franchise will require Chatham-Kent to make some improvements to the baseball stadium, including new bleachers.

Rob Pollock, Director of Parks, Recreation, and Cemeteries, said the upgrades will benefit ball teams from across Chatham-Kent as well. 

“Minor sports definitely has an opportunity, like Wallaceburg or Dresden, if they did want to use the field all they have to do is make a request through our staff and we would try to allocate (time,)” Pollock said. “It is one of our top tier sports baseball fields and with the upgrades we would look at opportunities for them to use the field as well.”

Overall the municipality will be looking at required spending of $195,500 next year to get the baseball field ready for the team.

Councillor Aaron Hall said the opportunity to bring a team to Chatham is a “win-win” and will be a benefit to local minor baseball due to the enhancements to Fergie Jenkins Field.