Property Committee Considers Unobskey Grant for Tennis Courts

By Kaileigh Deacon


On Thursday, August 24 at the Calais City Hall, the Property Committee met prior to the City Council meeting. The topics addressed were a property issue from Bob Follis, painting the trim at the Calais Free Library and a $21,000 grant for the tennis courts.

The first item on the agenda was a presentation by Bob Follis on property issues he has been having. Follis has land on Willow Street that he was filling when the city stopped the trucks due to issues with the fill. The main complaint was that he was prevented from filling the lot he had plans of developing for dumping in appropriate fill when similar sites in the same area were doing the same thing with no repercussions. Furthermore, according to Follis, he installed a pipe, per a verbal agreement, on behalf of the city should they decide to extend the end of Willow Street at an expense of $6,200. While no resolution could be reached at the meeting, it was discussed that they would hold a meeting between Follis, City Manager Jim Porter, the DEP, the city project engineer and the city attorney to see what could be done. 

The second item on the agenda was the painting of the trim at the Calais Free Library. It was expected that the project would not be expensive so the Library went to local companies and got estimates in the amount of $2,500, $4,500, and $5,800. When the library asked for proof of insurance, the first two companies backed out leaving the only estimate for the painting in the amount of $5,800. After presenting to the committee it was decided that they would send the job back out to bid. Even with sending it back to bid, the project should still be able to be completed before winter which will help protect the trim from winter elements. The bids will be reviewed when they come back in and the committee will make a recommendation to the council at that time. 

The third item on the agenda was an update from Recreation Director Craig Morrison on the fundraising for the restoration of the tennis courts. Morrison received estimates for the cost of just the higher court up by the park, which came to around $55,000. So far, the group working on fundraising has raised $11,000. They have also secured a $20,000 matching grant from the Wright foundation. Recently Morrison was approached by Sidney Unobskey who offered the $21,000 for the project as long as the court would be named after his brother. The property committee decided to recommend to the city council to accept the money from Unobskey, putting the total raised for the project around $42,000. According to Morrison, the courts will be torn up this fall and the paving done before the weather gets too cold. The remainder of the work will be completed in the spring.