The plug has been pulled on the Huntsville Soccer club’s request to light Conroy Park, as the estimated $250,000 – $295,000 cost cast a dark shadow on councillors.
The idea to light the Conroy Sports’ Field was initially brought to General Committee by the soccer club last April as a solution to the club’s growing need for more field hours. At that time the club said it was willing to fully fund the initiative to the tune of $100,000 and asked for first rights in booking field time.
Since then a public meeting was held and Town staff issued a request for proposals (RFP) to gather specific lighting and cost information.
The results of the RFP were revealed to council last week.
Two proposals were received but one company was disqualified. Pricing in the lone proposal listed High Intensity Discharge lighting (HID) at $249,150.68 and Light Emitting Diode lighting (LED) at $294,150.68, substantially more than was initially forecast. Along with the capital cost, the Town would also be responsible for an increase in hydro costs and on-going maintenance of the lights.
Funding for the project also took a hit. The soccer club dropped their commitment to the project from $100,000 to $50,000. Staff identified further funding of $40,000 in the development charges reserve marked for outdoor recreation, and the possibility of receiving a Trillium Fund grant in the amount of $150,000.
The math didn’t sit well with Deputy Mayor Karin Terziano.
It will cost at least $250,000 for 10 additional hours a week. The capital recovery on that is so bad, I can’t even do the math. It’s like a kazillion years.
Huntsville Councillor Karin Terziano
Terziano also wasn’t impressed by the soccer club’s desire to avoid weekend play. “If you add to that the fact that they are not using three days of the week, that raises a red flag for me. This initiative flies directly in the face of what we just said, which is that we need to spend our money on roads.”
In a 5-3 vote, councillors decided not to consider the lighting of the Conroy Sports’ Field in their 2016 budget deliberations.