Concerns over safety and liability have been raised at a council meeting as a decision went ahead to delay upgrades to playing fields at the Katherine Sportsgrounds.
All but one of the Katherine Town Council's elected members at last night's meeting voted to push back work to September 1, allowing clubs continued use of the ovals during the peak of the sporting season.
But the council is still waiting on advice from their insurance company on whether the oval is safe to use.
If the insurance company deems the oval unsafe to use, the decision will be back before elected members at the next council meeting, one month away, further delaying the drawn-out project.
The stonewall came at the beginning of the year with a formal letter from Katherine Junior Rugby League treasurer Annette Schefe.
"Our season runs from March to September and we use field two extensively five days a week during this time," she said.
"Through the Sports Advisory meetings we were advised that the upgrade of field two would start at the end of our season in 2019 and would be available to use at the start of the 2020 season.
"To date, this update hasn't started and we have great concerns that the field will not be available when our season starts in March."
Last month KTC asked the NT Government if Junior Rugby League could use the abandoned Sport and Recreation Club on Giles Street so planned work at the main sportsgrounds could go ahead.
But with issues of asbestos, land and building certifications and the fact that the facility is believed to be in the middle of a sale, the request was denied.
Alderman Peter Gazey raised concerns on the council's liability, as teams would be playing and training on a KTC asset which has come under fire for its condition.
The council has been told oval two requires major reconstruction and resurfacing to bring it up to the appropriate standard required of a major playing field.
Council says the main delay to work on Oval 2 lies in revamping the lights, which are not compliant to the size of the field.
Alderman Jon Raynor voted against the decision to delay the works, saying there is no guarantee a different club would request use of the field at the end-of-year wet season.
"If we extend to September and then get another letter from a different club it could be extended and extended," he said.
"We should put the tender out as soon as possible."
Alderman Raynor also pointed to the potential overlap of the oval project and the redevelopment of the Don Dale Pavilion.
"If we start work on the building, where does that leave us with the ovals? Are we going to end up with trucks driving over brand new turf?," he said.
While the council's chief operations officer Claire Johansson assured elected members the projects could go ahead separately, the Mayor of Katherine Fay Miller took on comments from Mr Raynor about why the council was left to make the decision.
"It is in the public interest that council talks about this and makes this decision," she said.
"There has been a lot of controversy and angst over it... First, the design for the building was way over budget and didn't meet our brief.
"Then we received a letter to push the start date to September."
Council documents state the project will take about three months to complete with another three months needed to establish the new playing surface.
Council received a $11.4 million grant from the NT Government almost 18 months ago to upgrade the CBD, sportground and showground.
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