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Milwaukie: We expect ballpark deal by end of July

Northwest LeagueMilwaukie (Ore.) officials say they’re progressing on a deal for a new ballpark opening in 2014 and expect to have a plan in place by the end of July.

City officials were in the hunt for a short-season A Northwest League team along with Hillsboro in recent months, but Hillsboro managed to pull the trigger on a deal to bring the Yakima Bears to a new ballpark for the 2013 season. That’s not stopping the efforts to bring baseball to Milwaukie. Potential territorial issues seem to be put aside for now, as the Portland market could end up hosting two Northwest League teams beginning in 2014.

Milwaukie’s ballpark plan is a little more complex than Hillsboro’s: state DOT facilities must be moved to make way for the ballpark, and some street issues must be addressed. Still, a Milwaukie team is seen as complementing, rather than competing with Hillsboro by many in baseball.

The schedule is tight: the city must develop a ballpark plan by July 31, with the City Council debating the issue on Aug. 7. If a plan is deemed solid enough to proceed, voters will be asked to approve bonding for a ballpark during the fall elections.

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