In the council meeting on Sept. 3, councillors were given an update on the project plan for three new baseball diamonds at Joe Magani Park by 2026.
The plan was originally proposed in 2018 with a budget of $1.5 million.
$ 694,791.60 has been added to the construction budget due to constraints presented by the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA).
“The constraints put on by the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority has put on quite a bit of extra money,” said Mayor Rob Keffer noting that the requirement to maintain and improve wetland habitat has added $270,000 to the cost.
"There has been a lot of controversy over wetlands."
Even though these additional costs have occurred during the first phase of the project, the report to council indicated that they will satisfy the NVCA's requirements for the second diamond as well.
Terry Foran, Manager of Community Services, noted that the wetland in question is actually an old ‘mined out’ quarry.
“It became a natural site,” Foran said. “NVCA wants us to maintain the wetlands.”
He said that a similar issue occurred with Henderson Park, where a former agricultural irrigation ditch had to be treated as a stream, and improvements made to “not only water quality, but (wildlife) habitat.., it is always a very complex issue.”
Foran noted that the remediation required will affect two new baseball diamonds proposed for the area, even though only one diamond will be built at this time.
Deputy Mayor James Leduc asked if there would be public access and trails, in the wetland areas.
Foran noted that there is a steep slope in some parts, as steep as a 3:1 slope, but suggested that in future, “we could get a little bit of access with a trail and a little bit of a walk-around.”
Asked about timing, Foran said that the Town is just waiting for NVCA approval for the new plans to enhance the wetlands, and then will go to tender immediately. “We would like to see it delivered for the fall of next year.”
"I'm looking forward to see our next diamond," said Leduc.