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Weather delays start of season activities in Plum

| Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Officials with the Plum Baseball & Softball Association had hoped to kick off practices for the season this week.

The snow and cold temperatures in recent weeks, though, have pushed the organization's plans back a week.

“The borough (officials) and our guys decided to stay closed for another week,” PBSA treasurer Jim Gilboy said Monday night. “We are shut down until April 8.”

Prior to Monday night's work session, Councilman John Anderson, parks and recreation committee chairman, said public-works crews within the next week are expected to do maintenance and other work on the eight borough fields in the complex at the intersection of New Texas Road and Ross Hollow Road and across the street from the municipal building.

Anderson said work will include redoing fencing and dugout areas and erecting a new fence along New Texas Road. Infield maintenance and spreading dirt on the fields also is planned.

“The work will be done between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on some days so it doesn't interfere with practice,” Anderson said.

Borough Council last year voted to accept a 25-year lease agreement with the PBSA to conduct a baseball and softball program at the complex. The PBSA is opening its second season.

The lease mandates the borough is responsible for maintenance including grass cutting and maintaining structures on the fields.

The defunct Plum Borough Athletic Association or PBAA, the longtime organization that operated a youth baseball and softball program through the 2011 season, last year dropped its fight to retain the lease to the eight fields. The borough revoked the former nonprofit's lease after accusing the PBAA of violating the agreement with unauthorized construction of sheds, dugouts and a walking trail at the fields.

Gilboy said the start of the season might be pushed back a week because of the weather delays. The season is scheduled to open on April 15.

“We are at the mercy of nature,” Gilboy said.

Gilboy said to date, 820 children have registered to play baseball and softball for the PBSA. He predicts the number will increase with additional registrants for the Colt baseball league. The league's games begin in May.

Comparatively, about 850 children last year played for the PBSA.

Gilboy also said Charlie's Ice Cream, with locations in Monroeville and Greensburg, again will operate the concession stand.

“I hope we have a successful season,” Gilboy said. “We are getting more long-term financial stability in the organization.”

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8753 or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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