Frank Humber has spent almost 20 years trying to get a major infrastructure project carried out at Jubilee Field because it’s desperately needed for a program that caters to hundreds of young boys and girls during the summer.
He’s always held out hope no matter who was at the table when it came to talks about finding funding to improve the bleachers, washrooms and change rooms on a baseball diamond that boasts an immaculate playing service.
Only months from seeing youngsters on the diamond, Humber is still pondering what the future holds because he is still awaiting word on the application made by the City of Corner Brook to seek federal and provincial partners though a Building Canada Fund — which is needed for a major overhaul to be given the green light.
Humber admits the city made it clear that the project hinges on approval by the funding partners and he appreciates that, but he’s wondering when something will be decided because time keeps passing without any progress.
He had positive discussions with past and existing councils about the association’s desire to improve the baseball experience at Jubilee Field, but doesn’t see any progress being made so it’s disappointing for him.
“There seems to be an approach that if we get funding we can do it, and I would suggest that we’re at a point where we need to make a plan that the funding may not be coming so what’s our next steps?” Humber said.
He said it’s always been his association’s view that they are responsible for delivering a minor baseball program for boys and girls and it’s not their mandate to build buildings and do capital projects that fall under the responsibility of the municipality.
Mayor Jim Parsons understands Humber’s concerns and he supports the association in its vision, but he said there hasn’t been any announcement on the application so it’s a matter of waiting for the response.
He said the city is a willing partner ready to go when the green light is given and he revealed that he’s been given good indication from both levels of government that they’re hopeful about the application. Furthermore, he added, that it was his understanding that the city isn’t being singled out because none of the other projects under the same funding source have been announced yet.
“We’ve made our commitment. Ours is there so we’re ready to go when they are,” Mayor Parsons said.
Humber admits infrastructure work goes off his radar at this time of year because he only has so much spare time with work and volunteer hours with the association. His focus has shifted to doing what he can to make the playing surface as good as he can so players can enjoy the venue as much as they can.
“As a volunteer, there’s only so much energy that one can expend right,” he said.