Harbour Grace’s deputy mayor is tired of seeing a lack of activity around the town’s two ballfields.
“It hasn’t been used to its full potential, so we’d like to see at least the west end of the facility transformed and redeveloped to make it a multi-purpose facility,” said Sonia Williams, who chairs the town’s parks and recreation committee, at the Monday, April 8 council meeting.
Moriarity Park, located on Crosbie Road Extension in the town’s west end, is named after former mayor Paul Moriarity. It includes a baseball field and softball field, and the Paul Moriarity Playground is located at the east end of the property.
Williams said the committee has discussed the possibility of setting up a splash pad and ball hockey court on the west end of the property. She said the town could add an ice surface to the hockey court for winter to give residents an outdoor skating rink.
“These are ideas that we’re looking at,” the deputy mayor said, adding the committee also considered setting up a snowshoeing trail around the facilities and a dog park east of the baseball field.
Williams said the committee knows this wouldn’t happen overnight but said with solid planning the town could get the ball rolling on redeveloping the site and having it used to its full potential.
She introduced a motion to have the town’s finance committee investigate potential funding opportunities for redeveloping Moriarity Park. Mayor Don Coombs noted a project of this nature would qualify under the Federal Gas Tax Fund.
The town is receiving $148,297 through the fund in 2019 (on top of an earlier allocation from the fund of the same amount) and has not decided on how to spend it. At the same council meeting, the town acknowledged a letter received from Avalon MP Ken McDonald announcing the funds and what sorts of projects would be eligible for using it. The letter was referred to the public works and finance committees. Coombs suggested they jointly look into how the town could best use the money.
Meanwhile, the town is accepting bids to repair one of clubhouses at the park, which was damaged over the winter. The town is paying for that work through an insurance settlement. Sealed bids will be received at the town office until Thursday, April 18.