Decision made on basketball court relocation at Beaumont council

Members of Beaumont city council deliberated on a decision for the relocation of a basketball court at the regular meeting on Aug. 27.

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Members of Beaumont city council deliberated on a decision for the relocation of a basketball court at the regular meeting on Aug. 27.

The basketball court at the intersection of 57 Street and 48 Avenue is a well-loved multi-use recreation area for Beaumont youth. Last year’s budget deliberations included upgrades to the reservoir surface and the relocation of the basketball court above it. Administration reported that the reservoir surface was showing cracks and there was concern for contamination of Beaumont’s drinking water source. The project was not completed in 2018 and was passed into the 2019 consolidated budget projects.

The city held an open house on June 26, 2019 and an online survey in order to hear feedback on residents on two new proposed locations for the court.

During the open forum portion of the Aug. 27 meeting, a Beaumont resident brought forward concerns to council that residents were not well informed of the city’s decision to move the basketball court and that information on the relocation and reservoir upgrades projects were difficult to find on the City website and elsewhere. He added that almost no information on the reasons for the repairs and the cost of the court relocation were included at the open house or in the online survey.

Mayor John Stewart commented that the resident’s concerns would be taken into consideration during a discussion and that he would not be willing to cancel altogether the relocation of the basketball court, but that repairs to the reservoir were immediately necessary. He added that a multi-sport recreation area such as what the basketball court is currently used for is needed in the community.

Councillor Sam Munckhof-Swain suggested that the basketball court relocation be part of a big picture discussion as part of the Parks, Recreation and Facilities Master Plan scheduled for council discussion later this year. Councillor Steven vanNieuwkerk agreed, adding that he was disappointed that the City hadn’t asked for suggested locations for the court from residents, as feedback from the open house and survey indicated the two proposed relocation spots were not well-liked.

Council discussed putting off the reservoir upgrades until a suitable new location for the basketball court could be found. Councillor Bill Daneluik asked administration if it was possible to push the reservoir upgrades into 2020 or if the repairs were critical. Chief Administrative Officer Mike Schwirtz reported to council that the repairs should be completed as soon as possible regardless of whether council chose to relocate the basketball court or not. Administration recommended discussing the court relocation part of the project once the Parks, Recreation and Facilities master plan was ready for review.

Councillor Hendriks suggested reopening the basketball court at the same location after repairs had been made to the reservoir surface. Administration responded that keeping the court in its original location brought up security concerns for the reservoir and it would be best to relocate it.

Councillors voted unanimously to decommission the basketball court and commence the reservoir surface upgrades immediately. Council maintained the direction of continuing to look for a new location for the basketball court.

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