By June Norvila
Bentley will soon have another ball diamond to use.
Last fall a request from Bentley Minor Ball was brought forward to town council. Since minor ball has seen a resurgence in the last 2-3 years, there were not enough diamonds available to use and not enough to stage a tournament.
With interest in slow-pitch also growing last year, council decided to rebuild the older ball diamond between the curling rink parking lot and the campground area.
The cost of rebuilding it is approximately $40,000 town CAO Elizabeth Smart said, with half the funding from the town and half from Lacombe County.
Player’s benches and spectator bleachers are ready to install. The player’s bench area will not be covered at this time.
A few years ago, the older ball diamond was not being used enough. The younger school students used to use the smaller older diamond at times.
The diamond was in a state of disrepair so was basically scrapped and at that time it was deemed to be too expensive to repair for the amount of use it would get.
The area was used as an experimental dog park for a year but that didn’t get used either and would have been too expensive to fence according with all the necessary regulations.
The mesh wire fence along the eastern perimeter of the old diamond was torn out and replaced with post and cable fencing to keep vehicles out of the green space. Now, that has all been taken out and replaced with brand new taller wire mesh fencing and the area has been expanded slightly to be able to be used for softball and slow-pitch again.
The two bigger ball diamonds that had been built in 1995 south and west of the Blindman Valley agriculture building were and are still being used.
Minor ball has about seven teams this year. Contacts are Alexis Screpneck or Karen Jaffray.
Slow-pitch has about ten teams this year. Contacts are Dodi Farnham or Keely Butcher.
Any of the three ball diamond facilities can now be booked through the town office at (403)748-4044.