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Slo-pitch group weighs options as Springbrook field fees loom

Central Alberta Slo-Pitch Association could look elsewhere to play ball this season if fees are implemented for use of the Springbrook baseball diamond.The association made repairs to the fields in 2005 in exchange for use of the field.

Central Alberta Slo-Pitch Association could look elsewhere to play ball this season if fees are implemented for use of the Springbrook baseball diamond.The association made repairs to the fields in 2005 in exchange for use of the field. Since then, the use of the diamonds has grown, with the association hosting 130 games per season and the Springbrook Community Group offering youth programs during the summer.ìWe're not particularly happy with the thought of having to pay since we did put in roughly $27,000 for upgrades to the diamonds a few years back,î said Roger McKay, technical director for the slo-pitch association.He said the group is still waiting to see if the bylaw gets approved before they'll make any decisions on whether or not they'll make as much use of the diamonds this season. He said the group has other options, including finding other fields to play.The suggested fees were $15 per hour during Monday to Thursday evening prime hours from 6 to 9 p.m. and weekend use for $50 an hour, which would total just under $3,000 for the association this season.During council on Tuesday, a new policy to end scheduling conflicts was approved, giving first dibs Monday and Wednesday evenings to the community group during the months of May and June and giving slo-pitch Tuesday and Thursday evenings until July when they'll have use from Monday to Thursday. Council hesitated on introducing rental fees.ìThey put money into it and built it up to accommodate a 130-game schedule. I'm worried that if we take some of this (scheduling) away from them and they can't accommodate Ö it'll fall back into disarray,î said Div. 2 Coun. Don Nesbitt of the association that paid to clean up and repair the diamonds back in 2005 in exchange for the use of the park.Administration explained there was a verbal agreement back in 2005 when slo-pitch offered to clean up the diamonds that they would ensure the community would have use of the ball field as well. Now that the popularity is growing, a written agreement is needed.ìWe have to remember this is an outside organization and we have a community that is ours and we have a responsibility to them as well,î said Div. 3 Coun. Penny Archibald.The bylaw received full support for first reading but Div. 1 Coun. Philip Massier voted against giving it second reading. Needing full consent of council to move to third reading, the bylaw was tabled.





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