The Town of Bracebridge is moving forward with plans to illuminate the last remaining unlit ball diamond at Peake Fields but not all of Town council is on board.
During the latest Bracebridge general committee meeting, councillors agreed to enter a contract with Musco Sports Lighting for an LED light-structure system for diamond No. 4 at Peake Fields at Verena Acres, to a maximum cost of $182,000, plus HST. The Director of Public Works was also authorized to award a contract for the installation and electrical engineering of the lights with Musco Sports Lighting up to $62,000, plus HST.
The move will mean all of the park’s four fields will now be illuminated at night, but Coun. Mark Quemby said three is enough for the current volume of players.
“I grew up playing baseball in Bracebridge and I love baseball but these fields are rarely used on weekends unless there’s a tournament,” said Quemby. “Three lit fields is enough with the current amount of baseball being played. This is 10 or 15 years too soon and I’m not in favor of spending the money.”
According to Town staff, they cannot accommodate weekday requests for additional diamond time or accommodate growth in minor ball, minor baseball, or adult leagues without lighting on Diamond No. 4. Youth groups, which are looking for additional diamond time, are typically allocated the earlier time slots, which then push the adult leagues to later playing times.
Furthermore, staff indicated that adult leagues are requesting additional time and, without lighting on Diamond No. 4 adult groups cannot use this diamond in the evening as dusk interferes with game play.
Although the vote ultimately passed at committee, Councillors Don Smith and Andrew Struthers joined Councillor Quemby in voting against the motion.
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