Reconstruction of Fort Erie tennis courts to go ahead

A motion from Mayor Wayne Redekop has paved the way for reconstruction of four tennis courts at Oakes Park on Central Avenue.

During discussion of a memo provided by staff at the February 12th council-in-committee meeting, which gave a cost breakdown of the proposed $600,000 project, Redekop moved to have a hold on the project lifted and to move forward with reconstruction of four courts at the park.

Additionally, his motion requested staff inform the Fort Erie Tennis Club, which uses the courts, that “the new agreement with respect to the use of the tennis courts emphasize public use subject to use by the tennis club for its programs, activities, and tournaments.”

Redekop added, “I want to get this moving forward. I expect that staff will be prudent in the expenditures that they make.”

During budget deliberations earlier this year, council requested a further breakdown of cost for the project. At the February 12th meeting, Councillor Ann-Marie Noyes expressed concerns that money for the project could be spent on items that aren’t strictly needed. “I can make numbers add up to $600,000, too,” she said. “I don’t like how we got here.”

Redekop, however, said staff must be given some latitude to execute projects. “These have been the premiere courts in Fort Erie for as long as I can remember,” he said.

The mayor stressed the importance of including public access to the courts, and said an agreement with the Fort Erie Tennis Club must come back to council for approval. “If the club doesn’t want to participate, then it’s completely public access,” he said.

The cost breakdown for the project included $70,000 for the removal of fencing, the acrylic and asphalt surface, and subgrade; $75,000 each for the new subgrade and surface; $125,000 for a new acrylic coating; $30,000 for electrical work; another $30,000 for landscaping reforestation; $85,000 for new fencing; and $60,000 for engineering investigations, design, and contract administration.

Additionally, $10,000 was added for net rebatable HST, and a $40,000 contingency was included.

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