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Published: Friday, 12/22/2000

Bids OK'd; Hens' home excavating to start soon

Lucas County commissioners approved contracts yesterday for construction work that will give form to the downtown ballpark for the Toledo Mud Hens.

Sandy Isenberg, president of the board of commissioners, said she hopes that before her colleagues OK another large expense toward the construction, they will have a lease agreement with the ball club in hand. After the meeting, she said she doesn't foresee a problem, but just would like to have that segment of the deal concluded.

“It's not like it's another dollar-a-year lease for a remodeled horse-race track,” she said, describing the agreement at Ned Skeldon Stadium. “We're investing a lot of money for a first-rate downtown facility, and we need some oversight. It's nothing personal; it's just good business.”

Though commissioners own the name Mud Hens and the site where the team plays, an independent board runs the club. Negotiations are under way between the baseball team and the county.

The contracts approved by commissioners yesterday are for excavation of the downtown site and construction of the concrete and steel portions of the stadium. The steel work will be done by Marysville Steel of Marysville, Ohio, for $2.5 million; concrete work, by Rudolph/Libbe Inc., of Walbridge for $3 million, and excavation, by E.S. Wagner Co. Oregon, for nearly $1.9 million.

James O'Neal, assistant county administrator, said representatives of Lathrop Corp., overall construction manager, spent about two hours with each of the low bidders Wednesday to be sure the firms are aware of the scope of the work.

The ballpark is expected to cost $37 million. It is to open in April, 2002.

Excavation is to begin in about two weeks.


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