Woodstock to study future recreation needs and financial options

by | Sep 13, 2023

Special council meeting to address plans for tennis court repairs, new soccer pitch, outdoor running track and more.

With the future of sports and recreation on the agenda, Woodstock council will seek input from the leaders of the Woodstock-based sports organizations.

The town will host a special council meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 3, to gain feedback before deciding on several recreation-related issues. 

The town asks leaders to confirm their organization’s attendance at the meeting by notifying the town office by phone at 506-325-4000 or by email at clerk@town.woodstock.nb.ca before Sept. 22.

Recreation facilities were part of the agenda at the Aug. 29 council meeting, with the poor conditions of the current tennis courts and the feasibility of building a competitive level soccer pitch and running track in the town gaining council’s attention.

A presentation by Western Valley Special Olympics Regional Coordinator Debbi Graham drove home the need for a provincially approved level track and field facility.

Graham explained a rubberized track would open opportunities to host provincial, national and international events.

She explained Special Olympic officials approached the Western Valley Region to host the Summer Special Olympics in Woodstock as early as 2025.

Graham said the region has the facilities to host bowling, basketball, bocce ball, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and gymnastics. However, she explained, it lacks a track and field facility.

She urged the mayor and council to consider building a facility with a rubberized track and turf pitch, which could serve the town and the region.

Graham also suggested the town consider naming the new track after Woodstock resident Patti Connors, Canada’s most decorated Special Olympic athlete.

Mayor Trina Jones and council members recognized the need for a track and field facility, but several questions, including cost, location and funding arrangements, require detailed study.

Jones said the town needs a feasibility study to determine the location and must work with the Western Valley Regional Service Commission to discuss financing what would be a regional asset.

Council passed a motion “to conduct a feasibility study with assistance from the RSC for a turf soccer field with provincial qualifications for a proper running track.”

Council also discussed Woodstock’s McKinley Tennis Courts’ poor conditions.

Jones and council members, including Coun. Julie Calhoun-Williams, acknowledged receiving complaints and inquiries from tennis enthusiasts about the poor state of the courts.

Jones agreed the issue must be addressed, but the cost and method need study. It will be part of the upcoming special meeting.

The mayor noted the town’s lease of an asphalt spreader this summer, suggesting it may provide an economical option to improve the surface of the tennis courts.

Council agreed to consider using the spreader, passing a motion calling for “staff to price and investigate the costs of asphalt for the tennis courts to do a top coat and also the price to do a full tear out.”

Council also addressed the future use and cost surrounding the tennis courts and other racquet sports.

It passed a motion stating, “for staff to work with all racquet clubs to determine the use of the courts and fee structures to be submitted back to Council along with recommendations.”

For road conditions, click the map

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