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Youngsville baseball complex plans on hold after church opts not to sell land

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YOUNGSVILLE — Plans to bring a baseball complex to Luddy Park in Youngsville hit a snag in recent weeks when a church decided not to sell needed land to the town, officials said.

The governing board of Faith Baptist Church of Youngsville opted not to sell its 7.66-acre plot of land next to Luddy Park, where town officials had hoped to construct a three-field baseball complex.

“I believe there will be a time in the future that Faith Baptist Church can use that parcel of land in a way that will bless the people in our area,” lead pastor Steven Wade said in a news release provided by town officials. “We will continue to discuss various options and opportunities and seek God’s will as to how and when that will be.”

The town of Youngsville announced last summer that it had entered talks with the North Wake County Baseball Association to build the sports complex.

The tentative agreement called for the baseball association to lease the complex for 15 years as soon as its current lease, with The Factory in Wake Forest, expired at the end of this year.

The town would finance, build and own the complex, which would have been adjacent to the four fields already at Luddy Park.

The town said Faith Baptist Church said it would be interested in discussing the possibility of selling the land to the town. Town administrator Phil Cordeiro met with church administration last month to discuss a conceptual plan for the complex.

A week later, Cordeiro learned the church had decided not to move forward.

“I completely understand Faith’s position,” Cordeiro said. ‘They simply want to do what’s best for the church’s long-term well-being.”

Cordeiro said he is encouraging the church to consider a partnership that would allow the expansion at Luddy Park “and the countless recreational opportunities that such an undertaking would provide their congregants and the entire community.”

Wade said that the church will continue to partner with the town on community events.

Youngsville Mayor Fonzie Flowers noted Faith Baptist Church is a regular partner of the town’s.

"From our community egg hunt, to our fall festival, to our trick-or-treat event, to our Christmas parade, to our new youth basketball league, Faith has been the town’s most reliable and staunch supporter for community events,” Flowers said in a statement. “I’m confident Faith will keep an open mind, and look forward to further discussing options for expanding Luddy Park in the future.”

The North Wake County Baseball Association reached out to the town last year to discuss a partnership, the town had said. North Wake is a nonprofit organization that coordinates baseball leagues for kids as young as 5 through the second year of collage.

Tentative plans mentioned the town buying the land and building 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.