MASSENA — With about $90,000 in grant funding to use, Massena Joint Recreation Commission members say it’s time to devote more resources to upkeep of the Alcoa Park tennis courts.

“I went over to look at the tennis courts last week. I think it has to be a priority,” board member George Hammill said during Tuesday’s meeting.

He said, in its current state, “it’s an embarrassment to look at.” Some of the fencing is leaning, another portion of the fence has a gap and grass is growing in crevices.

“I wouldn’t want to play tennis there,” he said.

“I agree. They should step up on the priority list,” board Chairman David MacLennan said.

“I would take a really close look at it” to ensure they could be used safely, board member John Horan said.

Mr. Hammill said they should also consider putting security cameras there so, if there was vandalism, they would have the incident on tape.

Recreation Director Michael McCabe said he had met with a representative from the Department of Public Works a few days ago to discuss eliminating issues with grass and weeds.

“We can’t spray. We have to have somebody that’s certified to spray over there, so DPW would have to come over and spray. I’ve been in touch with them,” he said.

Mr. McCabe they’ve had to address something that was growing underneath the surface of the court, and they would need to pay attention to ensure the ground stayed level.

“With any paving job, after a certain amount of time you’re either going to have to replace it or resurface it,” he said.

Fencing at the tennis court also needs to be addressed.

Albert Nicola, the town’s liaison to the Recreation Commission, wondered if they would be able to maintain the courts if work was done.

“What’s going to prevent the same thing from happening? We’re back in the same situation,” he said.

Mr. Horan said he had also been asked about basketball courts in the community. There is one located at Alcoa Park, near the tennis courts, and the grant funding could be used to address other opportunities.

“Someone brought it to my attention that those get used quite a bit over there,” he said.

He suggested they consider possibly putting a basketball court in another area in the community so others could also take advantage of the recreational opportunity.

Mr. McCabe said they had sought bids for projects at the tennis and basketball courts a couple of years ago, but bids came in higher than budgeted. The projects were later put out for bid again “expecting people that gave us a quote would rebid,” but that didn’t happen, he said.

Now they can use the approximately $90,000 that had originally been intended to put a playground at the proposed Water Street Park for other projects. Plans for the playground were scrapped so the funding could be used to enhance and maintain current playgrounds like Springs Park and take care of other needed projects like the tennis and basketball courts.

Some enhancements have already taken place at Springs Park, and others are proposed to be done in the late summer or early fall, and Mr. McCabe said they could look at the possibility of adding a basketball court at the Water Street Park.

The gist of it

n THE PROJECTS: Members of the Massena Joint Recreation Commission want to make upkeep of the Alcoa Park tennis courts a priority to address current issues

n HOW MUCH: The Massena Recreation Department has about $90,000 in grant funding to use for that project, as well as others

n THE MONEY: The funding was initially intended to put a playground at the proposed Water Street Park, but the playground plan was scrapped so other needs could be addressed

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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