A Salmon Arm Minor Baseball Mosquito Tournament held at Elks Park in June 2018. (Kristal Burgess Photography)

A Salmon Arm Minor Baseball Mosquito Tournament held at Elks Park in June 2018. (Kristal Burgess Photography)

Salmon Arm Minor Baseball gets permission to build batting cage

City council gives the nod following a couple of years of staff's discussion with the association

Salmon Arm Minor Baseball will be getting its wish granted.

In a letter dated March 13, prior to most COVID-19 restrictions, the association asked for permission to build a batting cage at Klahani Park.

“As you may know, it has been several years since our baseball athletes have had the use of a batting cage,” wrote Lori Deisroth, SAMBA secretary. “This is considered a key facility for baseball athletic development. This will also help relieve our total impact on the town ball diamonds, as it can act as a practice facility, sometimes in place of a diamond practice. It is getting more difficult to get sufficient ball diamond time for our growing numbers. The 2020 Spring season has 270 kids registered thus far.”

The letter explained that the installation of the support pole structure and prepping of floor surface would be done by SAMBA parents with appropriate skills.

Deisroth said SAMBA has currently secured $7,000 towards the project’s budget, with SASCU being the main sponsor. The funds would include a netting system, sign and building supplies.

She said the netting would go up for the baseball season and then be taken down.

At council’s April 14 meeting, Coun. Debbie Cannon made the motion that council support the request.

Read more: Salmon Arm Minor Baseball lands provincial tournament

Read more: Salmon Arm’s Riley Jepson wins baseball award

Rob Niewenhuizen, the city’s director of engineering and public works, provided background.

He said city staff have been working with the ball association for a couple of years trying come up with a solution regarding the request for a batting cage.

With this recent submission, the funding and a tentative location for the cage’s construction, he said the association would like council’s support to construct it on city property.

Cannon spoke in favour of the request.

“I just think that minor baseball has been wanting to add this to the fields for their developmental program that they’ve been working on. Their numbers are increasing, their registration, and I think this is exciting for them to be able to have an infrastructure like this that will add to their training.”

Coun. Sylvia Lindgren said she thought she had heard that the city had plans to put in a batting cage.

Niewenhuizen said no.

“The city did not have plans to build batting cages, the city had plans build another ball field at some time. So this is in addition. This is something minor ball had been looking for.”

Council passed a unanimous motion of support.

marthawickett@saobserver.netLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Salmon Arm Observer