Mayor’s Update – January 28, 2019

When it comes to sports facilities, I think we can all agree that the Town of Aurora is in a deficit position when it comes to rectangular fields as well as baseball diamonds. But how do we correct this problem given the fact that the Town has limited “vacant” land and given the fact that as we continue to grow as a community so too will the demand for sports fields and faculties? Well that was what the Sports field development strategy was meant to do….The strategy was brought forward to Council this week for discussion.  Council reviewed the strategy and had some additional thoughts for staff to add for consideration.

I have always said that given the scarcity of available land for fields, we need to look at how we can repurpose existing fields and/or make changes to these fields that will allow us to get the most usage out of them. Two suggestions we could look at that would add value to our fields? we could convert fields to turf where possible to better match uses with demands and add lighting to extend play opportunities to name just two….

Another option that we as a Town have when looking at how best to address the shortage of sport fields is to partner with School Boards to permit available school fields… Or to construct new fields on their property that would be able to be used both by the children at school as well as local sports organizations and the Town…This would require the Town to allocate additional operating funding toward field maintenance, in agreement with the respective school boards. This option is a good one as the school boards have lots of land that just sits empty for long periods of time.

As I said at the table we all agree we are in a shortfall and we can’t just build new fields and ball diamonds as not only are we short on land, but it is not cost effective for the Town to spend tax dollars to just build new… We need to do what is being suggested and that is to repurpose our existing fields to maximize the usage we get out of them. This ensures that we are getting the most value for our tax dollars. I know everyone loves the new shiny toy… But in this instance, we need to look at how we get the best bang for our buck…

Council unanimously supported endorsing the strategy in principle, subject to Council approval of budgetary implications…… I am looking forward to staff continuing to work towards this strategy and bring forward recommendations for Council that will be the most cost effective way for our complement of fields and baseball diamonds to grow and meet the needs of our sporting community….

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3 Responses

  1. We need a location with multiple (4-6) full sized fields so that we can host provincial play bringing revenue to the area. I love the idea of turf and lighting to extend use! It would also be terrific to have the turf lined for all sporting organizations.

    Thanks for all that you do!

  2. Excellent! We need sports facilities/fields to create an active lifestyle for children and also encourage adults to participate when they can. Also sports fields can alternatively be used for other venues … Canada Day activities, RibFest… we could even host an outdoor art show (similar to one of a kind.. to make these spaces multi use for all of our community members!

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