Funding offered to improve Sooke fastball pitch

CRD, community association willing to help

The Juan de Fuca Electoral Area and the Sooke Community Association are willing to help pay for upgrades to Art Morris Park, if the District of Sooke is a willing partner in the project.

Up to $10,000 is earmarked from the electoral area’s federal gas fund to help pay for the $85,000 project, said Mike Hicks, the Capital Regional District’s director for the Juan de Fuca, while the community association has pledged $10,000 for improvements to the park’s main ball diamond.

Money from the district is “very likely,” said Sooke councillor Megan McMath.

For years, Sooke Minor Fastball Association has maintained the park on Throup Rd., which caters to both youth and adult players.

The Sooke Minor Fastball Association says it can no longer afford the maintenance of the park and improvements.

Justin Wilson, association president, says investment from local governments will improve playing conditions for more than 170 kids in the Sooke Region.

“Art Morris Park is not up to the standard of what other fields have throughout Greater Victoria,” Wilson said.

“I’m trying to get us back to what other people have for our kids.”

Sooke is in a unique situation compared to most communities where a not-for-profit private entity, in this case the Sooke Community Association, owns many of the playing fields, and leases them back to sports leagues for a nominal fee.

For the fastball association this means providing maintenance, paying utility bills, and funding capital projects, even though there are other users of the facility.

Wilson said close to $85,000 is needed to upgrade the ball field and money to carry out necessary field maintenance. The association would like to see improved drainage for No. 1 diamond, batting cage improvements, a security gate replacement, a new clubhouse and dugout roof and fencing upgrades.

In the past, neither the district nor the Juan de Fuca Electoral area has contributed to the operation of the park.

“It’s always put on us to fund it, volunteer, and maintain it,” Wilson said.

Wilson said in some cases former presidents of the association have put in “ten of thousands” of dollars in upgrading the facility or donated hundreds of hours of volunteer time.

Juan de Fuca’s grant money is contingent on how much money Sooke puts into project, based on a 25 and 75 per cent split.

Karl Linnell, of the Sooke Community Association, pointed out in the past park maintenance and upgrades were left up to volunteers. Last year, volunteers from his group help rebuild the park’s grandstands.

Both McMath and Wilson said volunteer labour is now not so easy to come by in Sooke, with changing demographics.

“It worked in the past when there were more volunteers,” Wilson said. “It’s more difficult now.”

McMath is confident the district will help fund the project, and is expecting an announcement soon.

“It’s a no-brainer,” she said. “It’s something we need for the community.”



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Son of Second World War veteran returns to Norway to see site of rescue, repatriation

Six-man crew crash lands in Nazi occupied territory, only known instance of entire crew surviving

War bride’s oversea voyage to Canada took a leap of faith

More than 45,000 women immigrated to Canada after the Second World War

One woman’s scrapbook uncovered at Fort Rodd Hill tells story of thousands during Second World War

Joyce Margaret Whitney served in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps from 1942 to 1946

A time of remembrance

Hundreds gather at Canadian Legion to honour those who have served and sacrificed

VIDEO: Hundreds gather at Langford’s Veterans Memorial Park for Remembrance Day

More than 65 wreaths laid, including homemade wreath from Afghan veteran

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Victoria Jazz Orchestra concert raises funds for the Single Parents’ Resource Centre

Maria Manna on tap for the Nov. 16 performance in Victoria

Renowned men’s chorus ‘Back by Popular Demand’ in Victoria

One of Canada’s premier singing ensembles kicks off its 39th season on Nov. 16

Mexican culinary celebration fills Victoria Public Market

Taco, Tequila and Margarita Fiesta takes over the Victoria Public Market the evening of Nov. 16

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

Most Read