City signs deal with Swift Current 57's and businesses for clubhouse at baseball field
A partnership between the City of Swift Current, the Swift Current 57's baseball club and two local businesses will result in the construction of a clubhouse at Mitchell Field. Councillors approved a motion at a regular council meeting on Nov. 5 to authorize the mayor and City clerk to sign the agreement with the Swift Current 57's, Wallace Construction and Crutch's Plumbing and Heating.
“This is just another example of partners coming together to make the community a better place,” Councillor Ryan Plewis told the meeting. “This is going to be awesome for the 57's baseball club obviously, but it's also going to be really great for us as a community to have these amenities available to us.”
Currently the Swift Current 57's is one of only two teams in the Western Major Baseball League without a clubhouse. The team and the City have been discussing the addition of this amenity at Mitchell Field since 2012.
Mayor Denis Perrault noted that council asked the baseball club to do three things to make it possible to consider this project. The budget for the project had to be reduced, the club had to find project partners and the Swift Current 57's had to become more relevant in the community.
“They did all the three things that we as a council asked them,” he said. “They are very relevant and very important to our community. They found the partners they needed and they made a budget that was reasonable that this council could adopt and support.”
The total cost of the project will be $448,675 (PST included) and the City will contribute $300,000 to that amount. The Swift Current 57's committed $80,000 to the project, which will be paid to the City in annual installments of $8,000. The 10-year repayment period will start in 2018 and there will be no interest on the unpaid balance on condition that all payments are made on time. If payments are not made according to the agreed schedule, interest will accrue at the prime lending rate plus three per cent.
The Swift Current 57's found two business partners that will help to offset the cost of the project. Wallace Construction will be the general contractor and it will donate $40,175 in-kind labour and materials, while it will also fund the balance of any overages on the project.
Integrity Post Structures, who is supplying the building components to Wallace Construction, will provide $10,000 in-kind contributions. Crutch's Plumbing and Heating will install the mechanical and plumbing components for the clubhouse. It agreed to donate $18,500 in-kind labour and materials at cost less 10 per cent.
The two business partners will receive naming rights at the clubhouse in exchange for their contributions towards the project. Wallace Construction will have naming rights to the clubhouse for 10 years, which will be called the Wallace Clubhouse. Crutch's Plumbing and Heating will receive the naming rights to the concession for five years, which will be known as Crutch's Concession. At the end of their respective naming rights periods the companies will have the option to renew the agreement or otherwise the City will negotiate with other organizations on the naming of the clubhouse and concession.
According to City General Manager of Community Services Dean Robson it is not unusual for the City to have such partnerships with organizations to contribute in different ways to the cost of a project. In this case the baseball club indicated it is able to contribute $80,000 to the project. The City asked them to find more partners.
“It's very hard for the City to go out at a City facility and say who wants to chip in,” he said after the meeting. “It's a lot different when it comes from the community, being it recreation or parks or a culture organization to go out and seek a lot of things, whether it's a financial commitment or a volunteer commitment or other contributions. It's just a lot more important to come from the organization that's going to benefit versus being driven by the City.”
From the City's perspective it is easier to proceed with this kind of project when there are partners involved that will help to offset the City's financial contribution.
“I think probably with such a seasonal sport to put in that money without others joining in to contribute towards the project was really hard to push along the taxpayer end of it, but having not only the 57's ball club but the partners in Wallace Construction and Crutch's Plumbing and Heating and Integrity Post Structures gives us that partnership model where it's a little bit more feasible,” he said.
The clubhouse will include change rooms for the home and visiting teams as well as the umpires with shower facilities. It will provide space for the Swift Current 57's to use for ticketing and merchandise sales. In addition, there will be public washrooms and a concession to better serve north-west grandstand and left field baseball fans during games.