Frank Humber is happy to see the City of Corner Brook is committed to providing funding to carry out a major overhaul at Jubilee Field, but he’s still a little wary knowing a project that’s been on the association’s radar since 2002 is contingent on provincial and federal funding.
In Monday’s 2018 budget document, the City of Corner Brook committed to $500,000 towards the upgrade of the old infrastructure at the city’s only baseball diamond pending funding approval from both the federal and provincial governments towards an initiative carrying a price tag of $1.5 million.
Humber believes it’s great news that the city sees a need for a major overhaul at Jubilee, but he wonders how things would have been if the same vision was in place back in 2002 when he first started looking for money to make improvements to the clubhouse and washrooms to ensure the Corner Brook Baseball Association could continue delivering a quality program to boys and girls.
He wishes it hadn’t take so long for the association to get the city to commit to one-third of the cost associated with the project. He figures the project could very well be on its way if the same vision was in place 15 years ago when he figured it would have been a good idea to put away $100,000 a year for 10 years to make it happen.
“It demonstrates some faith in the project and recognition that it’s just so long past due,” Humber said.
It’s now a matter of waiting to see if the other two funding sources come on board, but Humber is hoping it’s sooner rather than later because he’s seen the cost of doing the project steadily climb every year since the association started looking for support in a healthy investment in a venue that sees a beehive of activity from hundreds of baseball players, both minor and adult, every summer.
“I’m not going to be dancing from the rooftops until we see a shovel in the ground,” he said.
Humber said he’s remaining confident that the other funding partners will come on board. He had conversations with Bay of Islands MHA Eddie Joyce and Long Range Mountains MP Gudrid Hutchings about the need for a major overhaul and both have expressed their support for the project because they recognize the need.
“But does that translate into dollars and cents? Well, that remains to be seen. We certainly hope so,” he said.
Mayor Jim Parsons believes baseball continues to grow in the city and brings a lot of people into the city because the association hosts a number of major tournaments on a regular basis throughout the summer.
He said anybody who has been to Jubilee Field in the past couple of years would recognize the need for a major overhaul and he’s willing to support anything that improves sports facilities in the city because he believes that can help the City in its desire to attract more young families.
“We need to have good sports facilities,” he said.