By Chris Pickup

A community partnership between Haldimand County and Dunnville Minor Fastball to instal a Tyke diamond at Dunnville Kinsmen Park is swinging in the wind.

The fastball group lost its third diamond used for minor ball play and youth tournaments next to Fairview Avenue Public School, when the School Board had to take it out to accommodate the construction of a new school. The county’s community partnership program proposed to help finance a new tyke diamond at Kinsmen Park where an old diamond used to be.

Total cost of the project was estimated at $25,200, with the county funding $8,820 and the fastball group to pay the rest through community fundraising.

However, the county hard policy for these community partnerships mandates that the community money should be up front before the county puts up its share unless ‘backstopped’ with community vibrancy fund money.

Councillor Rob Shirton told council committee Tuesday the fastball group hoped to get the new diamond up and running this year, but has not yet raised enough money. He queried whether there was any way to get around the upfront stipulation.

Coun Leroy Bartlett asked how long it will take for them to raise the money. “The money needs to be raised during this year or costs will go up,” he noted.

Shirton suggested they get a price for just a bare bones fence, and fundraising for bleachers could be held later.

The new tykes diamond would be approximately two-thirds the size of the old diamond it is slated to be sited on. While there had been some complaints from neighbours of balls being hit over the fence onto their properties when adults played there, the diamond design has been flipped away from neighbours.

In any case, as councillor Bernie Corbett noted, the diamond is designed for tykes up to nine years old, and “It would take a pretty good sized kid to have the strength to hit the ball over the fence.”

Shirton committed to bring more information back to council Tuesday.