Dickey Park to be used for football games in August
Amherst is going to allow minor football to use Dickey Park later this summer for games and practices.
© Darrell Cole - Cumberlandnewsnow.com
Dickey Park will become the temporary home for Cumberland Minor Football. A temporary field will be located on the park property on the infield of the track that surrounds the facility.
AMHERST – Dickey Park is going to become home to Cumberland Minor Football for several weeks later this summer.
With neither the Winston Street field or the Robb Centennial Complex ideal for football games, Amherst is going to allow for the creation of temporary facilities in the infield at the park on East Pleasant Street.
“It won’t hinder other activities at the park and in fact should help attract more people to the area,” Community and Economic Development Department director Roger MacIsaac said during Amherst council’s April committee-of-the-whole meeting.
MacIsaac said there is lots of room inside the walking track, while there’s easy access to the park, sufficient parking, washrooms/changerooms and picnic tables.
Bleachers, he said, will be brought in and some minor alterations, including fixing some minor drainage issues and putting some top soil in place, could be completed in plenty of time for the start of the season in August.
Coun. George Baker asked if it would cause a complex with track users, but MacIsaac said they would probably work together in that parents could walk the track while their children played.
Coun. Robert Bird said it’s a good idea as long as it doesn’t hinder other park activities.
“It won’t be very disruptive. We’ll be doing a little infilling, but we won’t be ripping up any sod and starting from scratch. That would be much too costly,” MacIsaac said.
Minor football presently uses the Winston Street complex for practices and games. The field, however, is not long enough for competitive games involving older players. The problem, MacIsaac said, is with the north end of the field that has significant drainage issues.
There is also a lack of washroom or change room facilities at the Winston Street field and parking is very limited.
The association also uses Robb’s 2 for practices and the younger divisions can use the location for games. There are washrooms and change facilities and lights on the field extends usage time.
Long-term, MacIsaac said, the town is about to hire a consultant to complete an architectural redesign of the Robb Complex and that could include having a dual use for one of the fields – similar to what’s done in Truro.
“This could result in a viable long-term option for the football association,” MacIsaac said.
The town also participated in the sportsplex study with the county and various stakeholers. That project includes a capital budget and operational model, but no funding mechanism has been located.
Should funding become available, MacIsaac feels, it could be viable.
Mayor Robert Small suggested that staff explore potential funding options for the sportsplex and consider it as part of the new Lions Park development on the existing West Highlands school property.