baseball diamonds

Councillor wants updates on Centennial Park baseball diamonds and Lions Pool

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

With budget season underway and baseball and swimming to follow, a town councillor is wondering about the status of some recreational amenities.

Councillor Peter Courtney wanted a report from administration on the status of the pool and baseball diamonds and said the user groups want to know what the “end goal is.” Courtney also asked for information about prospective locations for the amenities as well.

“This seems to be in limbo right now,” said Courtney.

Courtney added that “there’s been no foresight” regarding the loss of park infrastructure and wanted to know the plan to take care of user groups.

CAO John Miceli said it would be difficult for him to compile a report in time for the next town council meeting. He said at this point, he could only make recommendations pertaining to possible locations at this point.

“I can assure you there is no provision in the budget for that,” he stated.

Local residents, including those with the Amherstburg Sharks swim team, are looking for a new pool to be built in Amherstburg now that the Lions Pool is closed. The Amherstburg Sharks swim meet is pictured.

Miceli said there is a provision in the 2019 town budget for a master study at the Libro Centre to go over what specific components could be featured at the site. He took exception with implications there was no foresight by administration.

“To say we have had no foresight, I strongly disagree with that,” he said.

Miceli added the Parks Master Plan looked at a number of town facilities and recreating the same amenities that already exist in town “are not good for the taxpayers.”

The pool issue also came up at last Saturday’s budget meeting. Yvette Erickson and Tiffany Cote, who appeared before town council in January on the matter, also wanted to know the plans as Cote also pointed out a new pool is not in the 2019 budget.

Miceli said the town is looking at “pool access for 2019,” but added a new pool is not a high priority according to the Parks Master Plan. He said a new outdoor pool would be $1.5-$3 million while an indoor pool would cost $5-8 million with the decision ultimately being up to council.

Cote said children through seniors use the pool and believed it was “a shame” that it wasn’t a higher priority. The CAO responded that 913 users were reported at the Lions Pool last summer and emphasized there are “other means for short-term access.”

Erickson questioned why Centennial Park was sold “for so little,” with Miceli stating it was sold for fair market value. Miceli added most of the assets at Centennial Park are well past its lifespan. The Greater Essex County District School Board purchased the southern 15 acres of the park for $2.4 million to make way for a new public high school.