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City funds assure court renovation

Council commits $24,842

There’ll be no double-fault on tennis court grant funding, thanks to a boost from the City of Hood River.

It appears that the $261,179 renovation of the Tsuruta tennis courts on May Street, though coming close to a deal-breaking deadline, will happen this summer.

In a special meeting Friday, City Council voted to grant $24,842 to the Hood River Tennis Court Project, a citizen-based effort to repair and upgrade the four courts on May Street, known as Tsuruta Courts. They are located between Collins Field and the Hood River Aquatic Center.

Built more than 40 years ago, the courts are overdue for a major overhaul.

At its June 10 meeting, the council was presented with a $128,529 bid from Crestline Construction for infrastructure and light installation.

Paired with the $132,650 bid to Home Court for court resurfacing, the bid was $26,000 in excess of the funds the HRTCC had raised through grants and local donations.

To meet requirements of a state grant, the project has to begin by June 26.

Now, the city will cobble together the last needed funds from three sources within public works and parks budgets, according to City Manager Bob Francis.

He said HRTCC also received a $2,500 anonymous donation after the June 10 meeting.

“The community is really coming through on this project, and we hope to see it start in next couple of weeks,” Francis said

The Hood River Tennis Court Committee has said that the project needs to be done this year, or the courts may be unplayable, and postponing the project another year could make the total cost or replacement preventative, putting the community at risk of losing a key recreation resource.

Council heard the issue June 10 and decided to schedule the special meeting.

“If it’s not this summer, it’s not going to happen,” Mayor Arthur Babitz said June 10.

At that meeting, Public Works Director Mark Lago said his department could come up with $10,000 toward the project by shifting unspent funds from other public works budget areas. That budget analysis yielded even more funds, according to Francis.

He said the city staff looked at the parks fund for remainder of the year, and had cost reductions in several things, including $10,000 available out of $15,000 allotted to repair Children’s Park, thanks to savings from volunteer labor.

Francis said the city will also route to the tennis courts $3,000 that it did not need for tree removal.

Further, it will direct $10,000 budgeted for drainage at Collins Field, and assign city staff to do the work.

Council member Kate McBride also noted June 10 that the city would save about $10,000, over the next five years, by reducing overall court maintenance costs.

The lights will be installed first, then grading and presurfacing, and the court surface will be installed in August, during the hottest weeks, so that the courts have plenty of time to cure in time for project completion in September.

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