Biddeford’s Logan Magnant chases down teammate Colin Lavigne during a rundown drill in a 2018 practice at St. Louis Field. Biddeford City Council recently approved a new foul ball containment system for Field 1. A containment system at Field 2 was completed in 2021. Pat McDonald/Journal Tribune File Photo

BIDDEFORD — Those living near St. Louis Field or driving by there during baseball games will soon no longer have to worry about the chances of a foul ball smashing their window or landing on their porch, or plopping in their lap while driving in the vicinity.

The Biddeford City Council on Jan. 4 approved the expenditure of up to $307, 695 to purchase and install a back stop netting and canopy – collectively called a foul ball containment system — to resolve what has been a long-term problem.

“I fully support this, it is a great upgrade for the facility,” said Councilor Marc Lessard, who said the Finance Committee gave the proposal its unanimous blessing earlier in the day. “Field 1 and field 2 will be a place of destination to play baseball here in southern Maine.”

In a memo to the council, Biddeford Recreation Director Carl Walsh said the community has been dealing with backstop issues around St. Louis Field for more than 20 years.

“Concerns over balls leaving the field, potentially causing damage to vehicles, harming pedestrians and the neighbor’s property have been consistent,” Walsh said. “With the increased traffic over the years, especially on West and Hill streets, these concerns have only become greater.”

For each of the past five years, the department has either gone out to bid for solutions or worked directly with a vendor in obtaining quotes to mitigate the issues, Walsh said. The field 2 backstop was completed in 2021 and significantly reduced balls leaving the field, Walsh said, though he noted no system will contain 100 percent of foul balls.

“Is this the final resolution of the issue?” asked Councilor Amy Clearwater, who was told it would resolve 99 percent of the problem.

Mayor Alan Casavant noted the home of a resident at the corner of West and Hill streets has been hit repeatedly. “(The owner) is eagerly anticipating the council vote,” he said.

Comments are not available on this story.