City Park sports field will be a reality for summer

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
February 3rd, 2011

A multi-use sports playing field will finally become a reality in Grand Forks City Park after over a year of deliberations. The topic came back to the council’s table after a six-month hiatus when the motion to build the field was defeated last year. Not only was the topic re-introduced, but proponents of the project were armed this round.  Clint Faulkner representing the Boundary Wanderers Rugby Club gave a strong presentation to the council’s primary meeting on Monday, Jan. 31 about the proposal for the multi-use playing field.  “Six months ago I addressed (council) and asked that you support developing a multi-use playing field in City Park,” said Faulkner. “Tonight I’m here to ask you again to vote in favour of the children, family and residents of this community and vote yes for this field.”  Faulkner said that both the rugby club and the minor soccer association have taken steps towards the establishment of the field by meeting with both the BMX club and Seniors Hall representatives garnering their support prior to this meeting. During the last round of discussions councillors had been told by members of the Seniors Hall in particular that they were against the field. Faulkner said that the response he got was quite different.  “They felt it would discourage the vandals and drug users who currently frequent the park,” he explained. “Additionally, our club has acquired a certificate of insurance which protects our club and the city of Grand Forks in the event a law suit results from injury.”  The Wanderers also secured quotes for the purchase of removable goal posts for the field and went further to raise the money needed to purchase them. Faulkner said that he has discussed parking issues with the Seniors Hall board and they were hopeful that the hall may even see more usage as a result of the playing field.  Councillor Chris Moslin was impressed that the club had addressed all the council’s concerns over the past six months.  “After that meeting in August, the tone was not very good, it was combatitive and it was a surprise too. We had to think our way through it,” Moslin commented. “Two or three mature trees will have to (be removed) plus some of the immature trees, as well as the Telus pole. But I’ve come to the conclusion; I think this undersized field will fit, that it will add to the family orientated park that we want City Park to become.”  Moslin agreed to support the motion despite his reluctance during the last round of discussions, although he remains supportive of the efforts of the school district to also develop a fieldhouse at Dr. Perley Elementary School.  For his part, Faulkner guarantees there will be regular rugby games hosted there regularly, as well as soccer games.

“All I’ve done has been the person to convey what the Wanderers as well as Boundary Youth Soccer have asked me to,” said field proponent Councillor Michael Wirischagin. Wirischagin re-introduced his motion during the regular meeting of council and it passed 4 – 3.

“Ultimately I am pleased with council as I believe they have made the right decision for the children of this community. Not all children are blessed the ability to excel at academics and think a viberant community is one that offers other complementary avenues for kids to excel at – like arts and sports.”

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