The tennis and pickleball court resurfacing capital project is moving forward in 2021 for a total of $71,811 to be funded from the Parks & Trails Major Reserve.
Council will further discuss and make its final decision at the July 6 regular council meeting.
The project includes municipal sports courts at the hill location only; two tennis courts on the east side to be resurfaced and six pickleball courts to be established on the west side, of which four will receive permanent posts and nets. The additional pickleball courts means a loss of two current tennis courts.
Originally, only $30,000 was allocated to the maintenance of the courts, which means a funding increase of $41,811 from the Parks & Trails Major Reserve is required in 2021.
“In a perfect world it wouldn’t be this much of an increase, but I think this is a great investment into our community and you hear a lot of feedback on our amenities in our community and making sure they aren’t in dissarray. I think this is a good spend of money, a lot of people use these courts and pickleball is definitely a growing sport among our community and all ages. It gives another opportunity for people to get out and be active,” said Coun. Trevor Haas.
According to administration’s report, the projected 2021 year-end balance of the Parks and Trails Major Reserve, after the $30,000 allocation for court resurfacing, is $421,992.
Hans van Klaveren, Hinton’s parks, recreation and culture manager, explained that the cost increase is not just due to the material, but mostly due to labour.
“Some materials costs have gone up even more significantly in proportion, even up to 40 per cent. They are bought in bulk most of the time, so they are solid for the rest of the year. But the biggest portion is labour and that brings us to a cost increase,” said van Klaveren.
Coun. Dewly Nelson stated that he would rather see a project that doubled in price come back through budget discussions in order to get a better picture of its budget impacts.
A two-year delay for the project has already cost the Town a substantial amount of money due to annual cost increases, noted Coun. JoAnn Race. She felt that the project should not be delayed any further.
“This is a good time to get a good deal of that [project] taken care of for $41,000 instead of another year that might double that,” added Haas.
Coun. Albert Ostashek added that increases are bound to happen when council asks for projects with a realistic budget allocated to it.
For optimal maintenance, the outdoor Tennis facilities should be resurfaced, including spot repairs and painting every seven years, according to administration’s report. The last time this was done was in 2006 and 2008 due to inadequate reserve funding.
The current outdoor tennis court assets include four tennis courts adjacent to the Gerard Redmond Community Catholic School and three tennis courts adjacent to the Harry Collinge High School.
The capital project for resurfacing the outdoor tennis courts was originally incorporated as phases in the Capital Budget schedule. The maintenance work was pushed from 2020 to 2021 with $30,000 allocated. Another $30,000 is allocated to maintenance of the courts in 2025.
In April 2021, a Request for Proposal (RFP) was distributed to seek proposals for resurfacing the tennis courts including pickleball surfaces, and to potentially incorporate a volleyball surface and all sport netting requirements.
Administration received one proposal submitted by the company that is the leading supplier of surfacing and installation of outdoor courts in Alberta. The proposal included multiple options with different deliverables and prices.
A site visit by this company showed that the tennis courts in the valley require substantially more repairs compared to the courts at the hill location, new asphalt is advisable at the valley location, high-end resurfacing with fiber-induced products is more expensive and not attainable within the allocated budget, and that all prices for materials and installation have increased over the past years.
The valley tennis courts could receive repainting on new asphalt for $41,739, not including any pickleball lines or nets.
Masha Scheele, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hinton Voice