PoMo hopes for help to redevelop Inlet Park

It will cost $8.4 million to redevelop the sports field at Inlet Park, but the city of Port Moody is hoping much of that money will come from a federal and provincial grant program.

At its meeting on Tuesday, Port Moody council approved the inclusion of the project in its list of pre-approved capital projects for 2019. The city is hoping about $6.15 million will be provided by a grant from the Investment in Canada Infrastructure Program whose costs are shared by the federal and provincial governments.

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Chad Siemens, the city’s project manager in engineering and operations, told council the project’s cost is higher than preliminary estimates of $6 million because plans are now more detailed.

“With that, inevitably the price is a bit higher on a few items,” he said, adding about 50% of the design work is now done. “We’re comfortable with our $8.4 million total.”

Last March, council approved a plan to replace the current gravel all-weather playing surface with a FIFA-regulation artificial turf soccer pitch that can be divided into three smaller Super-8 pitches for younger players between the ages of four and 12. Softball diamonds would also be located in two opposite corners of the facility

A new 320-square metre fieldhouse as well as a parking area to accommodate 88 cars would also be built.

In a staff report, Port Moody’s general manager of parks and environment, Lesley Douglas, said if an infrastructure grant can’t be secured to help pay for the project, it could be further delayed until another source of funding can be identified.

That would be bad news for the Port Moody Soccer Club, which made its pitch for a new pitch as far back as 2007, suggesting two or three new fields as well as a new clubhouse would be required to meet its growing needs.

In 2012, council passed a motion to pursue redevelopment of the park with a single artificial turf soccer pitch oriented north-south with room to build a new clubhouse in the future. That project was estimated to cost almost $2.9 million.

PMSC’s 1,400 youth and adult players currently have access to only two turf fields and three or four primary grass fields, along with the gravel all-weather field currently at Inlet Park, although it’s rarely used because it gets muddy when it rains and dusty when the weather is dry and most teams refuse to play there.

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