City signs deal with Swift Cur­rent 57's and busi­nesses for club­house at base­ball field

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Swift Current - BY MATTHEW LIEBEN­BERG— mlieben­[email protected]

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.

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