Huntingville ballpark to reopen following July flood damage
By William Crooks
The Huntingville ballpark, damaged by July floodwaters, will reopen Aug. 7, predicts Waterville councillor Karl Hunting.
“The [outfield backboards] are back up,” Hunting began, referring to some of what has had to be fixed. There is still some sand to move, he added; A lot of sand from the infield was pushed by floodwaters onto the grass of the outfield.
The Wilson Street softball league, which is co-ed and for children, used the ballpark this year until the second week of July. An adult co-ed league also uses the park. Those are the only groups that officially book time there, Hunting said. A reopening party will be held at the park Aug. 12, run by the co-ed adult group.
Hunting’s great uncle donated the land for the ballpark back when the area was under the control of the Ascot Township, and he lives right across the road. “I played there for years,” he said.
“[Waterville and others] have put a couple of hundred thousand dollars into the park,” he continued. They received a large grant from the federal government, some more from the MRC and some through Marie-Claude Bibeau, MP for Compton-Stanstead, and Minister of National Revenue, he explained. The money went towards new backstops, lights, a new scoreboard, and a playground for children. Huntingville Park’s bathrooms have been raised two feet to prevent against future water damage, he said.
“We can’t seem to figure out how to prevent [flood damage to the park],” he went on. Environmental concerns prevent manipulation of the riverbanks. The river comes straight at the park before bending towards the nearby dam, so, when it floods, its current flows over the park below and causes more damage than it used to. “40 years ago, when I was playing [baseball at the park], we’d never have problems like that,” he explained. The flooding would just leave a mess, he added.