A potential deal with the Ladner Minor Baseball Association (LMBA) that would see a new facility built at Cromie Park moved a step closer to reality this week.
Council on Monday voted in favour of using a proposed term sheet as a basis for the development of construction and lease agreements between Delta and the LMBA for the creation of an indoor training facility.
The draft agreements still have to be brought back to council for final approval.
Council was told by staff “significant details” must still be worked out, but several on council also conveyed a desire to get the deal done as quickly as possible so that the baseball association can take advantage of a construction window.
Coun. Dan Copeland was the lone councillor to vote in opposition, concerned about the city agreement.
Council debated the concerns raised including the process, but Mayor George Harvie assured there would be “a fair and transparent policy” that would enable other Delta-based groups to access the facility.
Stressing Delta would still own the land, Coun. Bruce McDonald said the city has other deals with community organizations to use public property.
Coun. Lois Jackson said she wants to make sure council is doing its due diligence instead of delegating away its authority to staff.
Describing the deal as innovative, Coun. Dylan Kruger said the project is an incredible opportunity that will benefit local kids.
The new facility would be situated at the southern edge of the park, between the existing baseball diamond and the current all-weather field, which is intended to be converted into a third diamond in 2023.
The project scope includes a 10,175-square-foot facility with a 9,000-square-foot turf surface, six retractable batting cages, two interior washrooms, a meeting room and storage area as well as landscaping of adjacent areas.
The facility would have multiple turf-based sport uses in addition to baseball, such as soccer and softball.
The LMBA would contribute $1.4 million for the construction. The association would also be responsible for interior maintenance.
Delta’s costs would include $150,000 in servicing and utilities and almost $11,000 for the waiver of municipal permit fees, including development application and building permit fees.
Delta would also see an estimated $30,000 in foregone rent annually as the facility would have a nominal lease, while the city would spend up to $10,000 annually for the maintenance of the exterior of the facility.
Under the 20-year deal, all buildings would be owned by Delta at the completion of construction. The lease would be comprised of one 10-year term and the renewal option of one additional 10-year term.
As far as the facility’s use, the LMBA would be responsible for booking the facility for use by other Delta-based sport and community groups.
The association would have the sole discretion to allocate and book the facility, while Delta would have access to any remaining hours that may be available at no cost to the city.