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Cost concerns over baseball relocation to Willow Point Park

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Some Campbell River city councillors are concerned the cost to temporarily move minor baseball to Willow Point Park is approaching $1 million.

City council deferred a decision last week because of a lot of confusion and problems sorting out the true cost based on a city staff report.

Coun. Kermit Dahl is concerned the “piecemeal” costs for the park upgrades are adding up.

“I support the minor ball. I’m concerned that when we’re adding $174,000 here and $140,000 there and $250,000 there, at the end of it we end up spending a couple million dollars and then we end up back at Nunns Creek,” Dahl said.

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Campbell River Minor Baseball asked last year to be relocated due to safety concerns at Nunns Creek Park, with needles and trash found on the property.

After being repeatedly questioned, staff said the cost to fully light Willow Point Park will reach $800,000. That doesn’t include the $272,100 spent last year for “temporarily modifications” to both Willow Point and Nunns Creek Parks.

“We are talking $800,000 plus what we spent last year and now we’re getting up into the millions of dollars to relocate temporarily. And to me, at some point it starts to not make sense to call this temporary,” Dahl said.

If the city goes ahead, council heard the lighting won’t likely be installed until the fall.

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There have been challenges with the supply chain.

As for the long term home for Campbell River Minor Baseball, that won’t be sorted out until the city completes its Parks and Recreation Master Plan. A consultant is not expected to be hired until next year, meaning the plan won’t be completed until at least 2024.

The matter will come up for discussion again at the next council meeting on April 25.

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