Court surface concerns park board

Park commissioners focused on two major projects at Centennial Park during Wednesday’s meeting.

Overshadowing his concerns regarding the restrooms at the park, Commissioner Terry Hoopes acknowledged from the outset that he was talking about “a big issue.”

That is the basketball and tennis courts that were crumbling with grass growing between the cracks.

Hoopes said he asked a tennis instructor about the court’s condition and was advised that moisture seeped up through the cracks creating slick spots on the south end. Hoopes said the instructor noted it was a safety issue.

“It can be very slippery and some people have played there and told me it’s ‘dangerous,’” Hoopes said.

“Something has to be done,” he said adding that, “I know it’s expensive, but there comes a point where you can’t ignore it any longer … grass is coming up.”

Parks Director Steve Faber said, “If you’re talking about safety, maybe we need to do what we did with the baby pool and close them,” a reference to the nearby pool that Commissioner Lucille Karnofel wanted action on.

Hoopes said he asked the instructor about closing the courts and he said “no.”

Hoopes said, “I hadn’t realized they were getting so out of control.”

Karnofel asked about the last time the courts were resurfaced and Faber didn’t pinpoint a year he noted it was “$125,000 last time … if you’re talking about recoating we may be back to $125,000 if they’re coming apart.” He said the courts were ground up and resurfaced.

Hoopes said, “I don’t want it closed down, but don’t want a safety issue” and suggested obtaining another opinion.

“I just think it’s something we have to address down the line … there are tough decisions on what we’re going to do with our money … it’s just a concern and if there’s a way we can address it …”

Commission President John Panezott said, “Why don’t we have someone come out and look at it? We may not have to grind it up.”

Parks Supervisor Shane Franks put the question out: Resurface or repair? There’s a big difference, he said.

Faber agreed with hiring someone but said they should look at both the tennis and basketball courts.

“I understand it’s a huge undertaking,” Hoopes said and Karnofel said, “We have to maintain what we have, otherwise people will stop coming.”

Both Panezott and Karnofel said they would go out and inspect the courts.

Panezott said, “We work on a shoestring budget for six parks, but this is major.”

No action was taken and Faber said any repairs should include the basketball and tennis courts together.

Earlier, Karnofel said the baby swimming pool was “unsightly” and wanted it filled in with dirt and landscaped “to make it look better.”

Faber said the pool has been closed for about five or six years.

Karnofel said, “It looks pretty bad to me, why not fill it in with dirt, we need to get realistic.”

Faber said there was more to the issue, like a health inspector and meeting the required safety codes.

“Approvals are needed, it’s not a simple thing,” he said, explaining they can spend $1,800 to $2,000 for a flow meter not in code and upwards of $6,000 to get it to code.

He added, “If we take it (the pool) out, it will never come back.”

Karnofel said, “Just fill it in with dirt.”

Faber said, “I doubt you can just do that … you’ll probably have to cap some lines.”

Panezott said, “A lot of work is in that pool. I’ve had a lot of complaints about the baby pool … why isn’t it going … real small kids use it. I’d like to see something done.

“A lot of people who had something to do with putting it in wouldn’t like it (filled in).”

Hoopes said, “Fill it in, it’s gone forever. I always had a hope to fix it up and use it.”

Karnofel said, “Realistically, it doesn’t look like it will happen … use it as a planter box.”

Panezott said, “something should be done. I’ve complained about it for quite a few years. What’s the problem? Let’s get it resolved.”

Also, Hoopes had expressed concern about the Centennial Park restrooms.

“They look really bad, I’d like something done. I’m sure we can improve it.”

In other business, Park Foreman Jim Grimm said his department has been mowing grass, trimming flower beds and rolling the Centennial Park grass flat after the antique show.

Franks said men’s basketball and church-league softball will be wrapping up and fall league softball will start soon.