Baseball, soccer seasons could be impacted by delays in park projects

Light replacement projects on hold awaiting Hydro One approval

PUSLINCH – Two park renovation projects in Puslinch have been delayed and that could cause problems for baseball and soccer teams used to playing evening games under lights.

Council heard at its March 23 meeting the replacement of lights at Old Morriston Park in time for baseball season, and at the Puslinch Community Centre (PCC) in time for soccer season, have hit a snag – namely with Hydro One.

“The intent was to go to tender in April for a May construction which would enable use of the lights for this ball season,” states a report by CAO Glenn Schwendinger, director of finance Mary Hasan and director of public works, parks, and facilities Mike Fowler.

“Unfortunately, this is all contingent on approvals from Hydro One regarding their approval for servicing the projects.”

The report notes the lighting at Old Morriston Park dates back to the 1970s and it needs to be updated, along with the new lights.

“The reality is that until Hydro One responds with an approval, we cannot go to tender yet. With April fast approaching, October is a realistic completion date,” the report states.

“We anticipate late night games won’t be able to proceed,” Fowler told council.

Councillor Sara Bailey foresees problems for leagues this season.

“I was pretty disappointed to see lights are not available this summer,” she said, adding she knows of three men’s baseball leagues that normally play from 8:30 to 10:30pm.

“I’m having trouble seeing how we can accommodate those people. It’s not on them.

“I wonder if there are some innovative ways to provide temporary lighting.”

Schwendinger said staff was to meet with the consultant later in the week and hopefully will have a clearer picture of how the renovations can move forward.

“If there are options, we’ll look at them,” he said. “We will see what we can do to balance expectations with costs.”

Teams will be able to play during daylight hours, which should accommodate child and youth leagues. But the adult leagues will find themselves in the dark – and perhaps out in the cold.

Other work was also recommended for the PCC and a consultant has been hired to prepare for this work.

The consultant will come up with two or three options for the PCC and that plan should come to council in June, the report states.

There will also be a public information session on the matter, and once the options are laid out and the community has provided input, council will make its decision.

This project is expected to begin this fall and is to be complete by October 2023.