City Moves Ahead with Tennis Court Replacement

By Lura Jackson

 

With cold weather already arriving, the City Council of Calais has recognized that if the proposed tennis court rehabilitation is going to take place this year, it needs to begin immediately. Rather than awaiting further donations and potential delays, the council has unanimously voted to allocate just over $7,600 to enable the two primary courts to be resurfaced this fall. 

“If we’re going to move forward, we need to do it now,” City Manager Jim Porter impressed upon the council during the city meeting on September 28th. Porter explained that the fundraising efforts of Recreation Director Craig Morrison and Coach David Sivret have raised $12,346 thus far. The Charles G. Wright Endowment for Humanity has offered a match of up to $20,000. Porter recommended that the council contribute the difference to enable the full match, and provide enough funds for the resurfacing to proceed. The funds will be drawn from anticipated savings in the Recreation Department’s budget.

Recreation Director Morrison said he is pleased with the council’s decision. The funds will enable the courts to be paved and sealed this fall, while the painting will take place in the spring. According to Morrison, the fences have already been removed to allow the paving to take place, and Washington County Community College has offered to assist in removing the old pavement and preparing the site. 

“We still have to raise enough money to put the new fencing up,” Morrison said. He said that the fundraising group is looking for other potential matching grant to meet the necessary amount of $12,900 for the new fencing. 

“If it goes right, we should be able to play some matches there come spring,” Morrison said. Playing on the new courts may be delayed depending on the painting and drying process, meaning that the teams may miss the first few home games. After that, however, the courts should be ready to use, Morrison anticipates.

Once the two main courts are restored, Morrison and the other members of the fundraising group intend to resurface and rehabilitate the third court adjacent to the pool. Eventually, the group hopes to put up bleachers for spectators with the idea of holding more frequent youth and adult tennis tournaments.