BV Youth Soccer has been using Fields one and two, although they are in need of repair. (Deb Meissner photo)

BV Youth Soccer has been using Fields one and two, although they are in need of repair. (Deb Meissner photo)

Chandler Park Fields are in need of complete resurfacing and extensive repairs.

BV Soccer Association says the town of Smithers has a duty to complete soccer fields properly.

Problems continue to plague the Chandler Park Soccer Fields according to a delegation at the October 12 meeting of Smithers town council.

The BV Soccer Association delegation, led by Bill Price, noted field compaction, caused by many years of soil plugs, (from aerating the turf) building up on top of the surface of the ground has created an uneven field.

When levelled properly, a layer of sand called a top dressing can be put down for a better playing surface.

“During the leveling work in 2019, a number of deficiencies occurred, delaying completion of the plan,” Price said.

“The leveling work in 2019 omitted a portion of field number three, which made depressions and a potential for ankle-twisting injuries, making the field unusable until this area is leveled.”

Price went on to explain that the BVSA has used much of its own savings to make the fields usable for the last several years, which was supposed to be the responsibility of the town.

The errors in field maintenance and construction deficiencies have now combined so that the entire surface of the three soccer fields needs to be redone, adding time and significant cost to repair them properly, he said.

“BV Soccer has worked energetically to enable the town to be well-informed and do the work properly. We have proactively provided advice about materials and methods, which if followed, could have prevented many of the deficiencies and higher ongoing repair costs,” Price said.

“In conclusion, it’s the contention of BV Soccer that the town has a duty to complete the renovations and three fields construction plans, that now include fixing the problems that have resulted from poor construction and maintenance.”

Since the closure of Chandler Park Middle School in 2004, the condition, construction and upkeep of the three soccer fields for community use, have been the responsibility of the Town.

The original plan was to construct three soccer fields in three phases.

Phase one cost $467,947 over two years and included field designs, tree replacements, partial running track removal, turf layout, and completion. Construction began in 2016 and encountered numerous problems, including the turf being placed in the wrong direction, posing a tripping problem, and rendering the field unsafe and unusable.

In 2017, then-Mayor Taylor Bachrach said “issues with the turf on the field have been worked out, but there are some remaining issues that will be addressed next construction season, but for now we are celebrating the completion of playable fields.”

Work to build a fence around the perimeter of the field was completed in the fall of 2017 and paid for by the BV Soccer Association.

The second and third phases were to be completed in 2018.

The agreed-upon plan with the town included surface leveling and removing the brick-hard surface, and compaction from all but field number one (the field in the middle of the track).

Council will discuss the issue at the next meeting on Oct. 26.