The lack of field lights at Bayshore Park in Trenton will continue to be a safety issue and a scheduling nightmare this coming baseball season if council doesn’t approve the $240,000 purchase says Chris Lisle.
The park has been without lights since it was built two years ago and was one of three projects (Trenton Town Hall and waterfront trail expansion) recently denied funding through the Canada 150 grant. The Batawa Community Centre kitchen was also denied through the Ontario 150 Fund. In the 2017 budget, council had approved allocating $730,000 of city reserves for the four projects (half of the government funding). It was all done under the premise the City would only proceed if the grants were approved.
Lisle, the Quinte West Amateur Baseball Association President will be making a delegation to council Monday night requesting the purchase of new lights be included in the 2017 budget.
Looking at another season without lights, Lisle explained the field will only reach half or a third of its potential because of safety issues with kids starting their two hour games at 6:30 p.m. By the end they have lost all daylight.
Lisle explained they could get around it by requesting a few more away games at fields that have lights but they would rather be self sufficient. Lisle said overall, not having lights creates a lot of scheduling headaches.
Lisle added the first class facility has the ability to attract provincial level championships and top flight tournaments with an economic spin off. He said without lights that won’t happen.
Acknowledging some of the hardships experienced by the teams Quinte West Mayor Jim Harrison said the project is important. He said the city has put a lot of money into Centennial Park adding they aren’t ignoring the teams’ needs and council will make its decision soon.
Council meets at City Hall Monday at 6:30 p.m.