Council pressed for Aldergrove sports field promise

Two years ago, Township council voted to support building a turf field in Aldergrove.

Soccer players and fans are still waiting.

Representing the Aldergrove soccer community, Art Bandenieks appeared before council on Monday, chastising Mayor Rick Green and councillors for the unfulfilled promise.

The soccer community includes Aldergrove Youth Soccer and Aldergrove United.

“Since it is an election year I will point out that the Aldergrove soccer community represents approximately 2,000 to 3,000 voters,” he said.

“When I was here in 2009 all of you voted in favour of building Aldergrove a turf field. During the past year we have noticed a new bike park, several speed bumps on some of our roads, and probably the most attractive sewer pump station in the Lower Mainland,” Bandenieks said.

“We of course are grateful for anything that comes our way considering historically we rarely get anything.”

The soccer community in Aldergrove thought that with the vote two years ago, it would be their turn “but it didn’t work out that way,” he added.

“I’m here to let you know we are still waiting to see if a unanimous council vote means anything in this Township.”

It’s not only soccer players and supporters who are counting on the field. Baseball organizations and the Rotary and Elks service clubs are all keen to get on with the project, Bandenieks said.

There is much at stake, as Aldergrove is hosting local, provincial and national soccer events for adults and youth.

“This brings sports tourism dollars to the Township, but it requires substantial lead times,” he said.

Noting that the municipality’s budget process is about to begin, he urged council not to shelve or delay the project.

Council has not actually approved the sand-turf (artificial) field. Parks and recreation director David Leavers explained later that in 2009 council approved a concept plan for Aldergrove Athletic Park which would include an artificial turf field.

“The Township has not funded the project,” Leavers said, adding that the cost is pegged at $1.8 million.

After Bandenieks’ presentation, council referred the issue to staff who will explore potential partners to share the cost.