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Corner Brook minor soccer president wants City to address group’s needs for Wellington

Riley Rafferty of Western, right, makes the header with two Burin Penninsula players, Jonathan Inkpen, middle, and Cameron LeRiche during Subway Boys Under-14 Provincial Soccer League play Sunday, July 13, 2014, at the Wellington Street Sports Complex.
Riley Rafferty of Western, right, makes the header with two Burin Penninsula players, Jonathan Inkpen, middle, and Cameron LeRiche during Subway Boys Under-14 Provincial Soccer League play Sunday, July 13, 2014, at the Wellington Street Sports Complex. - Geraldine Brophy

Stephen Leonard wants to know where soccer stands with the City of Corner Brook when it comes to the priority list for recreational needs for sports groups.

Leonard is president of the Corner Brook Minor Soccer Association — an organization that has been waiting for the city to deal with the group’s need to have proper change-room facilities with showers and toilets built on the Wellington soccer complex.

A structure equipped with showers and toilets was part of the original design for the Wellington Street soccer facility, but was put on hold and eventually off the table when there was a change in council four years ago.

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Leonard is wondering where the project stands as nothing was announced in the 2018 budget last week.

He says he was told that the soccer association’s request was included in the three-year infrastructure plan for the city and the group was told the work was high on the priority list behind work scheduled to be carried out at Jubilee Field.

The Corner Brook Baseball Association received a commitment from the City for $500,000 in funding towards a $1.5-milion upgrade of the city’s only baseball diamond in the 2018 budget document.

Leonard has no problem with the baseball association getting the thumbs up to forge ahead because he knows there has been a great need to make improvements to Jubilee for years. But, he wants to know what the city has planned for his group now that baseball has received city support for a major overhaul provided provincial and federal governments come on board with their share of the money.

Leonard was hoping to submit a bid to host a national soccer tournament in either 2020 or 2021, but the deadline is Jan. 6 so he can’t see that happening when he doesn’t know what the city is willing to do for soccer moving forward.

He’s eager to chat with Mayor Jim Parsons and members of council to get some answers.

Parsons said he wouldn't know what was promised to the soccer association by the previous council, but he’s aware of the concerns the group has and noted the city provided some temporary change rooms and some lighting at Wellington.

He is aware that some preliminary plans had been drawn up, but he wasn’t sure if the city had enough information to warrant a funding request to the provincial and federal governments for the soccer association.

He knows the soccer association would like to chat about it so he’s sure that will happen soon, but that’s as far as his commitment goes at this point in time.

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