Original Published 09:29 May 25, 2022

By Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Two weeks after the Pincher Creek Mustangs approached town council for help in improving football playing conditions, Pincher Creek council has directed administration to investigate sports field development and present a long-term action plan for council’s consideration later this summer.

The decision was prompted by Coun. Mark Barber initially requesting, during the May 9 regular council meeting, a plan for developing a new football field in the town’s northeast.

“I’d like to see a plan of what a sports field could look like on the land that we purchased in order to facilitate sports fields, and I’d also like to see the costs of such a field,” Barber said.

“I’d also like to see the different opportunities that would have to take place for us to pursue that field, financially and otherwise.”

To get the ball rolling, Barber requested the plan be brought back for council to review at the June 27 meeting.

Other council members were skeptical such a plan could be put together in such a short time frame.

“From my point of view, it’s a little ambitious to go that route right now without some longer-term planning up there and tying things in,” said Mayor Don Anderberg.

Focusing solely on putting the football field in the town’s northeast, he added, did not account for other options available.

“At this point in time I think every alternative should be looked at, and then decide that you’re going to make a decision where you’re going to spend some money on creating a plan,” Anderberg continued.

“You may be missing a completely great area that’s fairly low-cost to develop, just by not having a discussion about it.” 

Coun. Wayne Oliver said developing a field in the northeast was a long-term objective that needed to be preceded by more immediate measures, which included repairing the irrigation line to the current football field at Matthew Halton High School.

“It’s already on the books to get water to the field this year, and that will help us out to buy us some time to determine if the ag society ground by the Community Hall would make a better field,” Oliver said.

“The short term is water this year, intermediate term is [potentially] relocate to the ag grounds as we long-term plan a multi-use sports field in a different location.”

Long-term planning, he added, needed to include other community members since the opportunity to develop in the northeast could meet the needs of other organizations.

“We have the input from football — do we have the input from soccer and do we have the input from rugby as to what their particular needs would be? Is this to be a multi-sports field or a single-use sports field? Those are some questions that need to be answered,” said Oliver.

In addition to bringing back information for sports field development, administration is also scheduling a meeting between the recreation department, the Livingstone Range School Division and relevant sporting organizations to discuss what the needs are and who is responsible for specific elements of the Matthew Halton field.

The next regular council meeting will be held Monday, June 13, 6 p.m. in council chambers.

This item reprinted with permission from Shootin’ the Breeze, Pincher Creek, Alberta