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Area youngsters not to blame for court damage

Area youngsters not to blame for court damage

Posted: Thursday, April 22, 2010 9:57 pm
By: Donna Ryder, Associate Editor

By DONNA RYDER
Associate Editor
Skateboarders and bicycle riders have been getting a bad rap.
Many in the community have blamed them for holes forming in the tennis courts at Union City Middle School and those beside the former municipal pool.
On Tuesday night, parks director Ken Morris informed the Union City Council he has spoken with Gary Peebles of Peebles Construction, the company that built the courts, and he said, “There is no way the divots were made by skateboards or bikes.”
Morris said Peebles told him the holes or divots were caused by a natural occurrence because of the type of rock used in the concrete. He said the thin seal is allowing moisture to get under the rock, which then pops out.
The parks director said he contacted Peebles about six weeks ago to get a quote on fixing the middle school courts. After not hearing from him, he called about two weeks ago and was told that local tennis player/instructor Margie Smith called Peebles and Peebles was under the impression that she was representing Union City. He sent the bid to her.
Peebles was informed he was to be working with Morris, not Mrs. Smith, so he then sent the bid to the city. The $18,000 bid is for fixing the middle school courts only by repairing the divots, resealing the courts, repainting and relining.
“There are a lot of people who play tennis,” said councilman Bill “Rat” Harrison, adding the courts need to be tended to.
Mayor Terry Hailey agreed, saying, “If we’re going to have it, we need to keep it up.”
Morris said the repairs would be placed in the next budget, which begins July 1. He said he asked Peebles if the holes are a safety hazard and whether or not they need to be repaired now. It would be $3,000 to simply fill the holes. Morris said he was told the divots are not creating a safety hazard, but the repair should be done before winter. Peebles also suggested the courts be sealed every five to six years to prevent the problems which are now occurring.
Hailey then asked Morris to call the City of Paris and ask about the cost of the skate park equipment it had purchased. He said he has never been by the park when there haven’t been a lot of children playing on the equipment.
In other points about the parks department, Morris:
• Said the department has been working the split shift for about three weeks and it is really working well. He said one crew will work 10 hours a day for four days and then the second crew will work 10 hours a day for four days. He said the employees like it because they get their hours in and they get four days off. Morris said they can also stay on top of things better.
• Informed the council the restrooms located adjacent to the municipal pool tennis courts are open most days until 8 or 10 at night.
• Said the volleyball net at Graham Park should be in place by the end of May, before the schools have their end-of-year parties.
• Informed the council equipment at Community Playground 2000 has been resealed and the nuts and bolts tightened. He said he needs to order a replacement tire swing for the playground.
• Said he plans to repaint older pavilions off Main Street and at the soccer fields.
• Informed the council the fire department will use the water which has filled the swimming pool for pumper testing.
• Said the department mowed nine lots on Tuesday and understands from the Planning and Codes Department that it will be a bad year for homeowners not mowing their own property. In response to a question from Harrison, he said the city tries to charge more than anyone else because they do not want to have repeat business.
• Informed the council the fountain at Kiwanis Park has not been working for a couple of weeks because of a hole which formed in the basin. He said the old sealant has been removed, the hole repaired and the fountain resealed.
Published in The Messenger 4.22.10

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