Salmon Arm council is concerned that a request from the Salmon Arm Mennonite Church to put up a large tent on a ball diamond at Blackburn Park at the end of July might conflict with ball games. (Kristal Burgess photography)

Salmon Arm council is concerned that a request from the Salmon Arm Mennonite Church to put up a large tent on a ball diamond at Blackburn Park at the end of July might conflict with ball games. (Kristal Burgess photography)

Request for big tent in Salmon Arm’s Blackburn Park rests on baseball needs

City council wants to check in with baseball organizations before OKing church plan

A local church would like to rent a ball diamond at Blackburn Park from July 28 to 31 but Salmon Arm council wants to know first if ball teams are planning on using it.

Salmon Arm Mennonite Church wrote to council April 12 noting the church would like to rent the ball diamond because it has held the event at that location for a number of years until 2020. Then, Covid restrictions made it impossible.

The tent, about 3o by 60 feet, would be put up Thursday afternoon and taken down Sunday evening. Services are held mostly in the evenings. The average number of people attending has been between 80 and 100.

Council discussed whether it might be a time for tournaments because of Aug. 1 being a holiday.

Other concerns included whether grass might be damaged, if a location like Safeway fields (across from the Lighthouse Shelter) would be a better spot, and whether council should have a policy on such requests.

Mayor Alan Harrison noted the school district owns the Safeway fields. City staff said the tent has moved around a bit over the years but hasn’t necessarily requested the city’s permission.

Coun. Debbie Cannon suggested Blackburn might not be the best location.

“I know different things are going on for soccer and baseball. Blackburn is a sporting area, I’m not sure if it’s appropriate.”

Council discussed church services being denied in parks in the past. It was clarified that a service was denied in Fletcher Park, for instance, because of the smaller size of the park.

Coun. Sylvia Lindgren noted church services have been held at Marine Park twice a summer for many years.

Coun. Kevin Flynn said he would not be comfortable if ball teams weren’t able to play because of the tent location.

In the end, council voted unanimously to check into plans for minor baseball and adult teams before approving the tent request. Coun. Chad Eliason was absent at that time.

Read more: New camping spot at park appreciated

Read more: Salmon Arm church member: Healing from shooting is a long process for us



martha.wickett@saobserver.net
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Salmon Arm council