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Wednesday June 14th, 2017

Posted at 8:07pm

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Local businessman Rick Farrow plans to make a substantial donation to the Riverside Baseball Miracle Field project at a meeting of Windsor City Council on Monday, June 19th.

This despite a report from City Administration that recommends selling a portion of the park including where Riverside Arena once stood for residential and commercial development. The city plan would only maintain the current baseball field and Centennial Swimming Pool. The plan also calls for the relocation of the Riverside Cenotaph, to a yet unknown location.

Riverside Baseball has proposed a development that would include the Miracle Field Ball Diamond, an accessible change room/washroom facility, replacing the existing playground unit with an accessible playground unit, relocating the existing cenotaph, and replacing the existing parking area with a new parking lot that accommodates 44 vehicles (22 of which are of the size of a Handicapped Parking space).

They also plan to add a new recreational pathway around the perimeter of the site along with a community gathering space with a stage. The existing 300’ and 200’ baseball diamonds would stay in their current location and well as the Riverside Centennial Pool.

Dozens of neighbourhood families and business owners have spoken in favor of the proposed plan.

The entire cost would be done with fundraising, and would not cost the city.

“As a business owner with long-standing ties to Windsor and Essex County, I stand behind my decision to financially support a Miracle Sports Field in this location,” Farrow said. “This park project will help children with challenges live a healthier, happier and more connected life. We want this to be a place that’s full of fun and laughter, and where kids can be carefree.”

Farrow is urging City Council to “look beyond the capital gains a strip mall could produce” and look instead at investing in our children. “This should be council’s legacy to our community,” he said. “Windsor needs a Miracle Field, and this is the ideal location.”

The city says selling the land goes back to a council decision made when the WFCU Centre was built. Any potential profit from the land sale is to go towards to original cost to build the arena.

City administration also points out issues like insurance and ongoing maintenance as reasons to reject the proposal and sell the land.

City Council will make the final decisions at their meeting Monday evening.

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