Ball park’s irrigation upgrades are still to come later this year

More improvements to the Lake Cowichan little league field are still to come

More improvements to the Lake Cowichan little league field are still to come, although just when has yet to be determined.

During the town’s first finance and administration committee meeting of the new year, Nagi Rizk, superintendent of public works and engineering for the Town of Lake Cowichan, provided committee members with an update on the field’s redevelopment, which involved replacing its dugouts and fencing last year.

He said $4,000 remains from this work and has been carried over and committed to the installation of an irrigation system at the field. The cost of this upgrade has yet to be determined.

“We have not finalized the budget so we didn’t go ask for tenders or prices yet. Upon your approval we’ll proceed with the request for quotes,” he told the committee.

The project involves installing an automated sprinkler system and its controls, and will have to take place either before or after the ball season.

“Budget is usually finalized by end of March … To complete the project before the season we will need early approval of the capital expenditure,” he told the Gazette in an email. “We will be asking for quotes very shortly, in case the project is to go ahead before the ball season this year.”

Rizk said the 2015 construction went well — and on budget — and he thanked the contractor for his “donation of labour and equipment to complete certain components of the project over and above his quoted price,” such as installing the benches.

Kelly Bergstrom, president of the Lake Cowichan District Minor Baseball Association, said he has been impressed with the town’s support for the ball field, noting that his organization requested the repairs last year following their AGM in June.

“This has [happened in] a really short period. Within, say, August we started all this stuff,” he said.

Bergstrom said the players will notice a real difference when the final work is complete.

“The grass will be greener and healthier, which is a good thing. Because right now it’s all hand-watered, so with a sprinkler system they can turn it on at three o’clock in the morning and we have no worries about losing water because of evaporation,” he said.

“Now it’s just getting the kids on the field and getting the season going!”

The association held its registration at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena on Jan. 12 and 13, but did not get the turnout members were expecting. Bergstrom said they will be hosting an additional registration night, and asked people to check the group’s Facebook page for more details.

The minor baseball season begins in April.