City staff laid the groundwork to complete the lighting and netting additions to Butler Park before the start of the next baseball season.
After stadium light standards were deemed to be unsafe, the city removed the poles and netting this past year, and made way for a new installation.
At an Aug. 16 Governance and Operations Committee meeting, a staff report recommended four options for installing new stadium lighting and netting at the Trail baseball park.
“(Engineering technician) Kyle McCormick has worked diligently with engineers and vendors to come up with what we feel is a practical recommendation moving forward,” said public works director, Chris McIsaac.
Because the soil below Butler has low cohesion, engineers decided on the installation of drilled and cast-in-place concrete piles.
Also, the upgrades to the stadium lighting will reduce the number of standards needed from eight to six along with the number of LED stadium luminaries, and 15-gauge Dyneema netting will be strung along the first and third-base lines.
“This proposed Butler Park installation is a significant addition to the fiscal 2021 capital projects,” wrote Interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Rino Merlo. “To proceed in 2021 requires a substantial amount of non-budgeted cash.
“However, should council authorize this Report’s recommendations, the city has the funding to proceed in 2021.”
Merlo offered that funding could come from various sources including the city’s deferred amount within the UBCM Community Building Fund of $1.25M, the Capital Works Reserve Fund $236,000 and Surplus about $100,000.
“However, this significant draw down of capital resources reduces the city’s financial flexibility.”
Parks and Rec director Trisha Davison also confirmed that there is grant funding of about $235,000 pending.
The immediate costs were a concern for Mayor Lisa Pasin who said, when considering last year’s total capital budget, a $1.5M expenditure would amount to 55 per cent of the total budget allocated for capital.
To spend 55 per cent of a total budget on one project is significant for the city, she later clarified.
“And this should be evaluated within the context of all priority projects.”
Of the four options, Option 1 was the least expensive at $1.586M with all work being completed in 2021.
However, in a 5-2 vote, council chose Option 2, which will see pole foundations, underground electrical, and stadium lighting installed in phase 1, and completed with the netting put up in the spring of 2022.
The cost for Option 2 is estimated at $1.642M, more than Option 1, but less than Option 3 and 4 at $1.655M, whose estimated completion dates were by the end of 2022.