Let’s play ball says Fernie Council

Fernie Minor Baseball is in jeopardy for the 2014 spring season as it still awaits funding from government to repair 2013 flood damage.

Erin Lalonde addressed the City of Fernie mayor and Council on behalf of Fernie Minor Baseball to request a partial remediation of the youth diamond at James White Park for the 2014 minor baseball season.

The ball diamonds were damaged during a valley wide flood last June. Applications for provincial funding have long been submitted yet the government has not yet responded with the final funding to make the work happen.

With the ball season fast approaching, Lalonde asked Council if the City could provide funding and labour to make the work happen before the season is to start in May. If not, the minor league will likely have to cancel the season as planning begins now. The minor ball season ends July 1. The number of players in the league has tripled in the five previous years, participant ages range from three to 15 years-old.

Acting Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Dave Cockwell responded to some councillors’ concerns that by taking on the work, they would risk losing the provincial funding for the repairs. “I don’t believe it will put the funding at risk, if we want to assume the risk,” said Cockwell.

Councillor Randal Macnair commented, “This [damage] happened in June of 2013. The province has had plenty of time. The CAO and mayor should get on the phone with the province. A community sport is at jeopardy here as there is a significant timeline.”

Council agreed to Lalonde’s request for remediation to the small ball field.