A resident has sought the support of the Regional District of Nanaimo to fund the construction of an outdoor sports court in Errington.
Stephen Scott, who has been advocating for a sports court park in Electoral Area F (Coombs, Hilliers, Errington, Whiskey Creek, Meadowood), appeared as a delegation at the Parks and Open Space Committee on April 27. He asked the Area F POSAC to recommend to the RDN board to allocate funds for the creation of a sports court park near the Errington Village Centre.
What Scott is proposing is a multi-sport court that will be suitable for tennis, pickleball, basketball and road hockey.
“If you live in Errington and do not have access to a private tennis court or pavement, you have to travel to Parksville or Qualicum Beach or further afield to play any of these sports outdoors,” Scott stated in his presentation. “It’s time for Errington to have its own public sports court – a paved and fenced asphalt surface with tennis, pickleball courts, basketball hoops, and room to play street hockey.”
Scott suggested two possible areas for the sports court — the vacant open space in Errington Park known as the ‘old tennis courts’ land attached to the two firehalls, and the two vacant Crown lots in the Errington Town Centre area. He said Area F POSAC suggested the Crown lands as a possible location.
Errington Park is a Crown land, Scott stated, that the RDN is leasing for $1 per year. He suggested the RDN enter a similar agreement to acquire the vacant Crown lots they are targetting for the proposed outdoor sports facility.
The proposed playing courts, Scott said, will enhance the neighbourhood and community in a number of important ways. It will provide much needed recreational opportunities for the residents of Errington and Area F and enhance the neighbourhood by protecting this water retention area from other types of development which might require it to be paved over or filled in.
Based on other recreational projects in District 69, Scott estimates the proposed sports courts to cost between $200,000 and $300,000.
Scott recommended to the Area F POSAC to request the RDN to set aside $250,000 in the upcoming capital plan for the development of a sports court park in Errington and to enter into negotiations with the Crown to acquire lots 23 and 24 of block 46.
The committee endorsed Scott’s proposal.
“It’s a go,” said Julian Fell. “I don’t see any problems with it.”
Fell suggested the POSAC recommend the RDN approach the Ministry of Forest Lands and Natural Resources to determine if they can secure the use of the land for a sports court. The motion passed unanimously.