Ferrie Oval Lights Project Update…
As many of you will know we have over the past three years or so had a number of discussions with Stonnington Council and made detailed submissions about the possibility and benefits of floodlights being installed at Ferrie Oval. Without proper lighting we cannot use Ferrie Oval during the winter months for training after 5pm because it is too dark. Having floodlights installed at Ferrie Oval is a really important council initiative as it will mean that a number of our boys and girls can train on the oval under lights from between 5-8pm.
Early last year the Council announced that it was looking at installing lighting as part of the Ferrie Oval reinstatement works and undertook extensive community and local resident consultation.
I am very pleased to report that at the Council meeting held on Monday 29 March 2021 all Stonnington Councillors unanimously resolved to install four 15 metre light towers on Ferrie Oval with lighting to be at 100 Lux. It was great to hear from the Council that the Ferrie Oval lighting project had significant support from nearly all residents who reside in Elizabeth Street.
As I reported last year, during our discussions with Council it was made clear to us that without a significant financial contribution from the Gladiators towards the Ferrie Oval lighting project it was unlikely to obtain support from council and in fact may end up at the bottom of the funding pile and be deferred. The expected cost of installing the four floodlights on Ferrie Oval is in the vicinity of $325,000.
In previous years the Gladiators have made substantial financial contributions to Council infrastructure improvements. For example in 2013 the Gladiators contributed $125,000 to assist with the funding of renovations to the Righetti Oval Clubrooms. In addition in the 1990’s the Club paid for the cost and installation of one of the three light towers which were formerly at Righetti Oval (now replaced by new light towers).
Accordingly we agreed with Stonnington Council to pay the sum of $100,000 towards the Ferrie Oval lighting project. We have already raised $50,000 through parent donations and government grants and we have available cash reserves to cover the remaining $50,000 (although we will probably do some more fund raising to keep our cash reserves intact). We recognise that any financial contribution by the Gladiators will be towards an asset owned by the Council. Accordingly the Council have accepted our pre-condition that the $100,000 financial contribution towards the Ferrie Oval lighting project will be made in exchange for us being granted a new licence or lease for the Gladiators to continue to occupy the Righetti Oval Clubrooms and play football at Righetti and Ferrie Ovals for at least the next 10 years from 2022 to 2032.
The Gladiators committee is of the view that by locking in rights of occupation of the Righetti Oval Clubrooms and Righetti and Ferrie Ovals until at least the end of season 2032 is a significant benefit to our Club which will ensure that we continue to have one of the best junior football facilities in metropolitan Melbourne for many years to come.