Electrical safety concerns at Long Sault ball diamond

A couple of 'stilts' hold up the back of an electrical panel that controls the flood lights at the Long Sault ball diamond on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Deputy Mayor Dave Smith says there are times when people are standing in water while switching switches in the box. The panel is being replaced this year. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

LONG SAULT – The deputy mayor has painted a potentially deadly scenario at a Long Sault sports field where people are standing in water while flicking electrical switches.

Dave Smith raised his concerns Wednesday about the breaker box that controls the flood lights at the Long Sault ball diamond on Simcoe Street.

“It’s situated in a little gully and when it’s wet, you’re standing in water, and whoever is leasing the diamond, is responsible to turn the lights on and off so there’s people going in there hitting switches and sometimes their feet are in water so for that reason I think it’s unsafe,” Smith told council.

The deputy mayor says the electrical box has been propped up with two-by-fours for “well over a year,” similar to the situation with the Blacksmith Shop at the Lost Villages Museum.

He’s also worried if it falls over. “If that box goes down, I don’t know what might happen as far as sparks.”

While the ball diamond is closed due to rules under the coronavirus outbreak, Smith would still like to see the power shut off until it’s repaired.

Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Amelotte says an electrical company inspected the breaker box two weeks ago, which has been on “stilts” since last summer due to it leaning.

“The electrical company didn’t seem to think there was much issue with that, health and safety wise. They did turn the power on and tested the lights so the lights are operational,” Amelotte said.

He says the panel, as well as the panel at the Ingleside ball diamond, are being replaced this year. Based on budget talks, the new electrical panels will be housed inside storage buildings which will “change up how we offer that to the public.”

The township waiting for locates to get both projects started.

“Thank you for that report, Kevin. I feel better now and safer,” Smith replied.

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