By Karen Cornelius
The Vermilion Parks and Recreation Board met on Tuesday, October 17, and heard a presentation from Vermilion Local Schools Superintendent Phil Pempin concerning the deteriorating condition of the tennis courts on Sailorway Drive, and the cost to renovate the courts used not only by the schools, but the community as a whole. As a result, Parks board members voted to commit $5,000 per year for five years to share the project with the schools estimated at $48,160.
According to the minutes, superintendent Pempin told board members the courts have started to crack and they need to give them attention. He said it was cost prohibitive to renovate the courts and rebuild the base at an estimated $175,000. They would like to have a tennis team to continue representing the district. Pempin stated they did receive $15,000 in donations and have three estimates to do a resurfacing and repair of the courts. The best estimate was for $48,160. He said that would cover cleaning the courts, removing all the debris from the cracks, filling it with material that expands along with the weather. The cracks would be covered with an Armor crack repair membrane which is a four-foot wide slip sheet repair that will last years. Then a sealer and color will be applied.
Pempin stated that there is a two-year warranty but they think it will last five to seven years. He said he would recommend to the school board to go with this company which could probably start soon if Parks board would commit $5,000 over five years, an option they had discussed at a previous meeting. Parks member Terry Parker agreed that Pempin was to come back once he found out how much the project would cost and what donors he had. Pempin stated that with the Parks board’s help they would be $8,000 short, but the school board would cover that. He said if there is a commitment for the $5,000 for five years then the schools would offset the cost upfront and would take it out of their capital improvement fund.
Parks members decided the shared project was doable. Parker said it wasn’t unreasonable because they are paying about $45,000 through 2020 on the ballfield lease and then that is done. Until then, they probably can’t go more than the $5,000 per year. Parks supervisor Dana Corogin asked the superintendent if there were plans for the basketball court. Pempin responded he would like to do it all and spend a little more money out of their capital improvement fund because many play on those courts, too. Also in the future, he would like to put lights at the court and add bocce ball courts.
Parks board members then voted to commit the funding for the Vermilion Schools Tennis Court Project. Chairman Elizabeth Wakefield asked Pempin to advise Parks board of the decision of the school board. Pempin expressed his appreciation for the board’s support since the courts are open to the public.