© Dave Mathieson - Amherst Daily News
Scott Armstrong (left), Member of Parliament for Cumberland Colchester Musqoudoboit Valley, shakes hands with Springhill mayor Allen Dill and director of leisure services Johathan Darnbourgh yesterday at the Dr. Carson & Marion Murray Community Centre in Springhill.
SPRINGHILL – The revitalization of the Lions Park in Springhill got a big boost yesterday at the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre.
The federal government announced an investment of $51,145 towards upgrades to the park.
“Almost every small town has community centre’s in them, whether it be a hall or a park,” said Scott Armstrong, Member of Parliament for Cumberland Colchester Musqoudoboit Valley. “Because of the age of these facilities many of them need new roofs, new windows, new backstops and new fields.
“These are the heartbeats of these communities. This is where people meet. This is where families meet.”
The fund was created to maintain existing facilities, not to build new infrastructure.
The $51,145 came out of the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund, which is part of the federal governments Economic Action Plan.
The CIIF program is distributing $150 million to communities across Canada, $16.6 million of which is allocated to the Atlantic Region.
“We were flooded with applications from many, many communities,” said Armstrong. “The fact this one was selected was because Springhill already had a plan in place.
“Springhill was already raising money, and the province was a partner in this, as well as the Town of Springhill, so this application moved up quickly. This is one of the first announcements I did.”
The $51,145 was matched dollar for dollar by money raised through the Town of Springhill Department of Leisure Services.
The Town of Springhill contributed $39,875, $10,000 came from the Province, $1,270 from community contributions and $1,000 in other capital costs came from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
Mayor Allen Dill, who’s term as mayor finished last night, thanked Johanthan Darnbrough, the new Director of Leisure Services for the Town of Springhill, for the work he did in putting the application together under a tight, three-day time frame.
“Johnathan came to us and has proven to be a great asset to the community,” said Dill. “He’s a man of action, and his dedication has been appreciated over the time he’s been here. I can always count on him to do the job and do it well.”
Phase one of the project will be complete this weekend when the ball field dugouts are finished being built.
Phase two begins in the spring and summer of 2013 when upgrades will be done to the play structures, the basketball nets and the ball diamond backstops. The sports fields will also be resurfaced.
“We’re going to purchase everything over the winter an build everything over the spring and summer because everything has to be done by March 2014,” said Darnbrough.
He said input as to what is purchased would be made with input from many people from the community.
“We’ll meet with our revitalization committee and go through specifications,” he added.
The revitalization is part of a three-year plan, and Dill believes Darnbrough will be able to raise $20,000 in the two years in order to continue with future phases.
Last night Dill was replaces by Max Snow as the Mayor of Springhill, and Dill said, “there are other projects I hope the new mayor and council will go forward with in order to make a community that people want to live.
“It shows that by working through the system and going through the process that you can be successful by letting staff do their job,” said Dill. “The upgrades are going to polish, not only the park, but the community centre itself. It’s going to put the finishing touches that weren’t done because of financial restraints.”
Darnbrough thanked the government for their help, and thanked everybody who helped make the upgrades a success.
“The revitalization committee did an amazing job,” added Darnbrough. “And ACOA’s Michelle Scott was very helpful and so was Amanda McGuinness from CREDA.