Exeter tennis court replacement to be considered for 2021

Article content

SOUTH HURON – Tennis lovers in Exeter will have to wait until at least 2021 before they are able to use the tennis courts beside Exeter Elementary School.

As local tennis players know, the tennis courts have been in poor shape for years. At council’s June meeting, councillors authorized staff to close the tennis courts, dismantle them, and return with a report at the July 13 meeting with options for the future.

Staff have estimated that replacing the tennis courts, which would include a new concrete base, rubberized playing surface with lines, new fencing and gates would cost $175,000. The new courts would have multiple uses, including tennis, pickleball and basketball.

There are no funds in the 2020 budget to have the work done this year, but staff sought direction at the July 13 council meeting to see if council wanted to have some work, including tendering, done in 2020. In the end, council provided no direction to move forward in 2020, which means the project will be considered for 2021.


Story continues below
This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Coun. Ted Oke spoke in favour of getting some of the work done in 2020. He said if South Huron waits until next spring to start the work, then most of the 2021 season will be lost as well. Oke’s idea was to get some work done this fall and then finish it in the spring of 2021.

“It’s been long enough that we’ve put off this project,” he said. Making it a multi-use facility will result in significant use, Oke said.

But Deputy Mayor Jim Dietrich pointed out there’s no money in the budget for the project this year, and council doesn’t know exactly what will be done to the site.

In order to start the project this year, a budget amendment would have to be made, and Dietrich said an amendment of close to $200,000 is “quite a jump.”

Manager of public works Megan Goss said staff has approval to clean up the site this year and prepare it for future work. She said the asphalt surface at the tennis courts is beyond repair and needs to be replaced with a 100 X 120 foot, six-inch concrete pad before a rubberized surface is placed on top.

Chief administrative officer Dan Best said the project was intended for 2021, but it was up to council’s discretion whether or not to get a head start this year. In addition to finances, weather would also be a factor in how much work could be done in the fall.

Despite Oke’s desire to get a head start this fall, he received no support from his fellow councillors, and Best said the project will stay on the books for council’s consideration in 2021.

In related news, the municipality received a letter from the South Huron Optimist Club which has offered to donate $5,000 towards the project. Mayor George Finch expressed thanks to the Optimists for their offer.

News Near Exeter, Grand Bend and area

This Week in Flyers