ST. PAUL - The Town of St. Paul has offered its written support of a large project that St. Paul Minor Ball hopes to undertake.
From significant improvements at the Jaycee ball park, to work at the ball diamonds at St. Paul Regional High School - and places in between - St. Paul Minor Ball is hoping to improve its facilities. The improvements would not only benefit local ball players, but also enhance the experience for those visiting St. Paul.
During the Feb. 27 Town of St. Paul council meeting, council received a request for a letter of support from St. Paul Minor Ball, as the non-profit took the necessary steps to apply for funds under Co-op's Community Spaces Grant program. The 2023 application period for the grant ran from Feb. 1 to March 1.
"Co-op Community Spaces has been developed to help protect, beautify and improve spaces across Western Canada. In keeping with our ongoing commitment to invest in the communities we serve, Co-op will contribute $1 million to help support projects that improve the places Canadians meet, play, learn and share," according to information from Co-op. Up to $150,000 per project can be received from the program.
Coun. Gary Ward spoke about the project prior to council voting in favour of the letter of support.
Part of the project would involve work at the Jaycee ball park, which is located on main street, near the UFO landing pad. The Town of St. Paul had previously applied for grant funding to fix the backstop of the Jaycee diamond, but was unsuccessful, heard council.
Significant work needs to be done on the backstop, due to frost heaves exposing concrete around the bottom of the structure. Ward noted the situation is "getting more hazardous." The potential project could also include an eight-foot fence around the entirety of the Jaycee, along with the construction of an equipment shack at the diamond.
New bleachers are also on the list of things to do at the Jaycee.
Other work involves redoing the infields of the diamonds located across from the arenas, making them accessible for different levels of play.
Minor ball has also had discussions with St. Paul Education, and is hoping to do work on the diamonds located at St. Paul Regional High School, which is where many of the youngest ball players practice during ball season. Dugouts at the Regional High School diamonds may also be within the scope of the potential project.
Investing in lights, and creating a concession area are also part of the proposal.
The plan is "quite extensive," said Town of St. Paul CAO Steve Jeffery, adding, he would like to applaud St. Paul Minor Ball for taking on a project like this. He noted the overall project is a much bigger scope than what the Town was looking at in regards to improvements at Jaycee, "and I think much better."