Coun­cil de­cides un­safe light­ing tow­ers to be re­moved from ball di­a­monds

The Woolwich Observer - - NEWS - VERON­ICA REINER

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.

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