There isn't any sound of a neon green tennis ball bouncing on the asphalt court due to the snow and cold temperatures, but come springtime there will be. In the meantime, however, the Minot Park Board has some decisions to make regarding their tennis courts that were damaged in the 2011 flood.
At tonight's meeting of the park board, one of the topics on the agenda will be discussion on budget estimates for reconstruction of the tennis courts. Courts in need of reconstruction work include Hammond Park, Riverside Park, Polaris Park, Roosevelt Park and Leach Park.
According to the agenda packet from the park board, budget estimates for Hammond Park include a complete reconstruction and remake into 10 courts, which will run approximately $550,000 to $650,000; add two basketball courts across the street at a cost of approximately $110,000 to $150,000; or recondition the six existing tennis courts and the two existing basketball courts at an estimated $100,000 to $115,000.
The tennis courts at Hammond Park, shown here on a winter afternoon, need to be either resurfaced or reconstructed, which will be a topic up for discussion at tonight’s monthly park board meeting.
A complete reconstruction of the two tennis courts at Riverside Park would cost $110,000 to $150,000. A complete reconstruction of the two courts at Polaris Park would cost about the same as reconstruction at Riverside Park, as would a complete reconstruction of the two tennis courts at Leach Park. It would cost approximately $165,000 to $225,000 for a complete reconstruction of the three tennis courts at Roosevelt Park, however.
Ron Merritt, director of parks, said the estimates have been put together and now he and the park board members need to discuss them at tonight's meeting. "Hammond Park gets used a lot, so we need to do some work (on it)," he remarked. "Do we do some work on (the courts), or do we do it right and do it completely and have it last a little longer? How far do we want to go?" Those will be some discussion points for the meeting. "We want to have a nice facility and the high school has missed some tournaments," Merritt added. The general discussion will be on how the park district wants to reconstruct the tennis courts and how they would move ahead, he continued.
"We need to do something," Merritt said. The park district didn't budget enough to do the reconstruction, he noted. "I'm hoping we move ahead with something, either resurfacing or reconstructing, so that we have a nice facility."
In the past, the Minot Recreation Commission, the Minot Park District, and Minot Public Schools have contributed to resurfacing the tennis courts, Merritt said. The cost to do reconstruction on the courts, though, might fall to the park district since they own the courts, he noted, and that's also an issue that will need to be discussed.
Some of the tennis courts were damaged in the 2011 flood, but the courts at Hammond Park were not, Merritt noted. The tennis courts at the smaller parks were damaged, though, he added.
The tennis courts at Roosevelt Park were probably damaged the worst from the flood, Merritt remarked. The asphalt is in poor condition and the cracks are bigger, although not all of that could be from flood damage, he also noted. "So here we are two years later and we need to do something about it." Merritt said the park district will put the recommendation to the full board to include Roosevelt Park in the general bid for estimates to restore the courts.
"We have to determine if we can proceed with this," Merritt noted. "We have to look at the dollar amount and discuss how we can pay for it."
In addition, Merritt said the park board will be meeting with tennis users after the first of the year, so he thought they might put off a decision about Hammond Park until then so that the tennis users can have input. There's a difference between recreation and high school tennis users, he also said, and he wants to make sure those needs are addressed. Additionally, the park board plans to bring in other user groups and citizens to upcoming meetings to discuss what would be needed for other areas of the park and to see what they would like for the park district to do.
"We know we need to do something because of the general condition of the courts," Merritt remarked. "We have talked about it for a few years and we need to look at options. The condition of the courts is deteriorating to the point where we need to do something."
Meetings of the Minot Park Board are open to the public and are held the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in room 204 of the Municipal Auditorium.