Council decides unsafe lighting towers to be removed from ball diamonds
IN IMMINENT DANGER OF collapsing, a raft of light towers at Wellesley ball diamonds will be sent to the showers.
Altogether, some 20 poles that support the lights at ball fields in St. Clements and the village of Wellesley need to be removed as corrosion has weakened many of the structures.
Meeting Tuesday night, township councillors approved spending about $30,000 to tear down the poles.
The move is a pre-emptive one to prevent any injuries or damage should the structures collapse, facilities maintenance coordinator Dan Mikel told council.
After the collapse of a galvanized lattice tower in St. Clements in early September, Mikel and AECOM engineer Adrian Wright conducted an in-depth examination of all of the ball diamond light structures in the township on October 10.
Their inspection showed substantial deterioration of the steel structures. The bases were buried beneath topsoil in the St. Clements area, and therefore could not be examined. While the tower bases were visible at the Wellesley diamond, the footings could not be observed. Following this inspection, AECOM recommended that these structures be removed or replaced to avoid any more damage or potential collapses in the future.
Coun. Carl Smit questioned whether or not the materials from the structures would be salvageable, inquiring about the replacement cost of the poles.
“We can save as much that’s feasible,” said Mikel in response. “We can try to scrap to refurbish what we can. The engineers’ report says that the bases are not adequate.
“It’s up to the council’s decision whether we save it or not, but I would rec-
ommend more energy efficient options,” he said of an eventual replacement of the lighting.
Councillors agreed to look at replacement costs as part of the upcoming 2019 budget deliberations. Other details, including the timeframe for removing the suspect poles, were expected to be worked out at budget time as well.
The structures to be taken down include seven at the west ball diamond and six in the east ball diamond in St. Clements, along with six at the lower ball diamond in Wellesley.
The work is to be paid from the township’s recreation facilities reserve fund, which has current balance of about $346,000.