City council renews Softball Yukon lease

Whitehorse city council unanimously voted in favour of renewing Softball Yukon's new 10-year-lease on Monday evening.

Whitehorse city council unanimously voted in favour of renewing Softball Yukon’s new 10-year-lease on Monday evening.

Softball Yukon has operated the Pepsi Softball Centre since 1983 and the Robert Service fields since 1987.

Both were under 30-year leases. City administration recommended rolling the leases into one 10-year lease.

The lease is accompanied by a memorandum of understanding, which includes the society’s promise to “undertake a review of accessibility issues at the softball parks.”

In return, the City of Whitehorse must “participate and provide advice” on the review and the potential accessibility improvements at the parks.

But the promise of a review is as far as it goes. Nowhere in the agreement does it say Softball Yukon would be required to fix any accessibility issues it finds.

The society came under fire at the beginning of September when three residents told city council about their concerns over the lack of accessibility at the Pepsi Softball Centre and Robert Service fields.

The issues included a lack of handicap parking spaces, the need for handrails on bleachers and extra space for caregivers with friends in wheelchairs.

Since then the society has issued a press release, saying it was waiting for a full facility inspection from the City of Whitehorse. Any changes that result from the city’s report will be done in the spring, prior to the start of the next softball season, according to Executive Director George Arcand.

Going forward, societies using City of Whitehorse land must now agree to review the accessibility issues of their facilities when their lease agreements come up for renewal.

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