Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Opinion...Funding is a team game
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 19 Jan 2007, p. 6

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Halton Hills residents are not shy when it comes to offering their opinions about what this town needs. Readers regularly share their views with us, but often ignore how "the Town" will pay for the item on their wish list. This week's announcement by the Georgetown Slopitch League (GSL) that it was donating $100,000 to the Town for construction of a new ball diamond at the Trafalgar Sports Park provides a perfect example of how things "get done". The GSL has been in dire need of new diamonds for its 1,000-plus member group for years. The Trafalgar Sports Park, launched in 1999, was to have alleviated some of that demand (with four lit diamonds) but the Town so far has funded only $800,000 of the $10-million, 10-phase project and no diamonds have been built-- only four unlit soccer fields. The Town, rightly or wrongly, has deemed other projects more important. Phase 3B of the park was included in the 2007 capital budget with the proviso that a $100,000 contribution was needed from either the Georgetown Soccer Club or the slopitch league. The soccer club, however, last year opted to invest in the new Acton Agricultural Society's multi-purpose building which will house an indoor soccer field. The GSL, however, stepped up to the plate with its donation, which came from the league slapping a $100 surcharge on each of its 70-odd teams each year for the past seven years. That, folks, is how things "get done"-- with long-term planning and commitment. "Baseball diamonds are expensive," said GSL president Tim Abbott, "and that's without lights and irrigation." With those "extras", Abbott estimates it would cost about $500,000 for one diamond. This is a lesson for those who believe the Town should accommodate every wish: ball diamonds don't magically appear and the same goes for new roads, trails, parks and arenas. Everything has a cost and the days of the Town paying the freight for all capital projects (with taxpayers' money, of course) are gone. Ironically, the GSL will rarely use this new ball diamond as its teams mostly play night games and require fields with lights. However, they should be commended for showing good community spirit with their donation and setting an example for other groups.

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19 Jan 2007
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Opinion...Funding is a team game