Saugeen Shores is moving ahead with its development of an outdoor sports complex in south Port Elgin.
At a recent draft capital budget session, January 22nd, council approved spending $165,000 for developing a design of the complex that will be made up of primarily baseball diamonds.
Matheson, who has spearheaded the project, says the process will include public consultation where an ad hoc committee of town members and user group representatives will get together to discuss what they want to see at the site of the former Lamont Pit on Concession 6 in Saugeen Township.
Council also approved a 1.65-million-dollar expense to construct the complex with money being raised through fundraising and debt financing.
But don't be putting those ball cleats on just yet.
Matheson says once they do begin construction and get the shape of the field in place, it's still going to take another two years before the complex can be used.
He says it will take that long to assure they have a healthy and hardy grass surface that is firmly rooted to the ground to withstand the pressures of sports play.
However, Matheson points out, once the complex is completed, they will have a state-of-the-art outdoor facility that will attract tournaments of all types to the municipality.
He says locally, those playing slow pitch ball are growing with over a thousand men and women participating and more just waiting for more facilities to host the games.
Matheson says he could see another 500 adults signing up in the future and that doesn't include the minor baseball that is ongoing in the community.
The long-term plan is to have up to 8 ball diamonds at the Lamont Pit and 2 others at Jubilee Park in Southampton.
Any remaining ball fields would likely be decommissioned.
The 160 acres of land of the Lamont Pit was purchased by council for 1.5-million-dollars in 2018.
Besides baseball diamonds, the area would contain soccer pitches, hiking areas and parkland.