Bay Roberts shuffles funds to cover rec maintenance

By Mark Squibb/June 17, 2022

Director of Sports and Recreation Ian Flynn has highlighted a number of upcoming projects that his crew hopes to tackle this coming summer, and beyond.

Flynn told council during its May 24 public meeting about plans to paint two tennis courts and a basketball court following the Light the Lamp ball hockey tournament.

The Town will only paint three of its five courts due to budgetary concerns.

“I thought I had a healthy budget for painting four tennis courts and a basketball court but, like everything, the price has come up dramatically,” said the director.

Flynn later suggested that council delay replacing some playground equipment that was budgeted for this year as it won‘t be delivered until spring of 2023, and instead use the funds to complete fencing around the Wilbur Sparkes Complex and paint all four tennis courts, instead of just two.

He said he recently spoke with three different suppliers of playground equipment and all three expressed the same supply chain issues.

“I never dreamt it in a million years,” said Flynn. “Normally it’s four to six weeks, and now it’s six to eight months to get a new piece of playground equipment.”

Deputy Mayor Geoff Seymour asked for more specifics on the playground equipment to which Flynn had referred. The director explained that $20,000 had been earmarked to replace older equipment around town.

“We didn’t have money earmarked in terms of a specific playground or a specific structure, it was basically just to kind of update some of our older pieces,” said Flynn. “But there’s nothing that’s out there right now that I think is a safety hazard because we go through all of our playgrounds in the spring.”

Councillor Dean Franey made the motion to reallocate the funds, which was approved unanimously.

On the Bay Arena front, Flynn said he is working with Public Works Director Sean Elms to develop a request for proposals (RFP) for a cost analysis on replacing the concrete floorboards at the Bay Arena.

“I think this is a very important project and that we just need to figure out what our rough cost is,” said Flynn. “And I say rough cost because what the actual cost is in September might be totally different by the time we go to start this, whenever council approves this project. But, it’ll give us a starting point.”

He hoped the RFP would be ready in the next week or so.

Flynn noted the Town received two quotes for dug outs for the local ball fields, and are awaiting a third quote before bringing the matter to council for a vote.

The contract will include construction of two dugouts for both of the town’s fields, all built to the same specs.

“We really hope that we can get that started sooner rather than later because a ballfield with no dugouts is not much of a ballfield,” said Flynn.

He said the Town will add a basketball court to the Wilbur Sparkes complex immediately after the Light the Lamp ball hockey tourney. “We just don’t want to have any dig up or tear up at the moment,” explained Flynn.

Work has begun, meanwhile, on the basketball court near the Shearstown playground.

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