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Cementing in budget for new park amenity

Town of Barrhead councillors approve more than $50,000 expenditure for a basketball court for Lions Park
Town of Barrhead councillors approved the construction of an outdoor basketball court for Lions Park during their Jan 23 meeting. The proposed location for the court would be near or on the present location of the skating rink.

BARRHEAD - The Town of Barrhead will soon have another basketball court.

Councillors approved an expenditure of just under $55,000 during their Jan. 23 meeting to construct an outdoor basketball court in Lions Park.

CAO Edward LeBlanc said councillors identified the need for a basketball court for the park during their 2024 budget deliberations in the fall.

He added that the parks and recreation department received two estimates to construct a 50 by 75-foot pad for the court, one made by asphalt, the other concrete.

Although more expensive, an estimated $51,000 administration recommends that council select concrete, compared to just less than $35,000 for asphalt. The purchase and installation of the other equipment needed for the court is roughly $3,000.

Mayor David McKenzie agreed that cement was the best way to go but questioned its location, the same spot as outdoor rink.

"My concern is if it is like the outdoor rink at Cecile Martin Park, which is in a bit of a hole and in the spring, it's a bit of a fishbowl," he said. "It takes a long time until the water drains off, and I wouldn't want to see the basketball court underwater for the first two months of spring."

Parks and recreation director Shallon Touet did not foresee an issue with drainage coming to the thaw.

"[The existing skating pad] is probably the most level one we have," he said, admitting the pads for the outdoor ice rinks at Denthor and Cecile Martin Parks are "sunk into the ground".

Coun. Rod Klumph asked if the baseball diamond on the same side of the park could pose any issues.

"Is there baseball, slowpitch or anything else that could potentially launch projectiles towards the basketball court?" he asked.

Klumph also asked if the court could be adapted for other sports like pickleball, saying the municipality needed to make the most of its limited recreational funds.

Touet said T-ball is the only organized sports group that uses the Lion's Park diamond.

"And they can't hit the ball that far," he said, adding hard pitch and softball players use the diamonds at the sports grounds or behind the high school."

Touet also said converting the basketball court for pickleball use would take little effort and be relatively cheap.

"I don't think it would be too much," he said. "When we buy the paint for [Barrhead Pickleball], and they do the [concrete slab of the outdoor icerink], it takes about six quarts, and it costs us about $300. Most of the cost is for the tape, so the lines are nice and straight."

The pickleball court provides its own portable nets. Touet estimated the court could accommodate two pickleball courts.

Barry Kerton,

Barry Kerton

About the Author: Barry Kerton

Barry Kerton is the managing editor of the Barrhead Leader, joining the paper in 2014. He covers news, municipal politics and sports.
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