GLASGOW – New benches and picnic tables for all of Glasgow's city parks have arrived and installation is tentatively planned for next week. Bids for new playground equipment for Gorin and Twyman parks are slated to be opened Friday afternoon.
These were among the tidbits shared Monday at the Glasgow Common Council Parks and Recreation Committee's regular meeting.
Much of the discussion centered around future planning for the tennis courts area in Gorin Park – either repairing and/or resealing the existing ones or constructing new ones at another park and opening those surfaces at Gorin to other uses.
Councilman Terry Bunnell provided some information from a quote he had gotten on repairing the worst of them, but he had only gotten one from one place.
Councilwoman Chasity Lowery, who chairs the committee, said it was never part of the master plan or even a priority mentioned during the discussion at the time to make the tennis courts one of the first projects.
“We've got $500,000 to do these two parks,” she said, referring to the amount in the current fiscal year's budget to cover all planned improvements to Gorin and Twyman parks, which were placed at the top of the list because the facilities there were the furthest deteriorated.
Bunnell said he and Eddie Furlong, director of the Glasgow Parks and Recreation Department, had met with representatives from one company, Tennis Technology, to get some preliminary numbers, so now they at least have a base amount to have something for comparison.
He said they could spend roughly half the amount of the repair quote to just fill in the cracks and make them look new, but that result won't last as long as the option they had.
Furlong said that he and Mayor Harold Armstrong had met with the Glasgow Water Co. at Gorin Park about a month ago to look over the area and found multiple cracks and leakage spots in stormwater drainage pipes. Two of them run under the tennis courts and one of those is under the courts with the worst damage, so that's where some of the water is coming from that is ultimately creating damage to the courts, he said.
He said the estimated cost to replace them was going to be pretty high for what it was and he had also been given the number for a company that has a type of liner than could go into the pipes and essentially seal them from the inside, but he hadn't called them yet because he didn't know which direction they were going to be taking regarding the courts.
Councilwoman Sheri Eubank said she thought they should get that information before they make a decision and asked Furlong to try to get it before the next meeting.
Bunnell said they've also discussed the fact that a lot of people ride bicycles and skate or skateboard on those courts, and the last two are not a good mix for the courts.
“You do chip the surface, you leave the black marks, you impact the quality of the court, no ifs, ands, buts about it,” he said, “so that's a continuing item that we will have at that location …, so that's a concern that we had is how to then protect these courts.”
He said he and Furlong had taken the same company representatives to American Legion Park and discussed the idea of building courts there where the baseball diamond is now. Up to seven courts and a pavilion could fit there, Bunnell said, but even though it's relatively level already, some site work would still have be be done.
He said they just wanted to get the conversation started as to other possible options.
Lowery asked about whether the parking lot area behind the Parks and Recreation Department building along Liberty Street that was formerly a Glasgow schools football field could work for that, and she said she was hesitant to space at American Legion for tennis courts because that's where any future changes to the city pool would need to occur.
Furlong said he had also brought up the idea of using the ballfield at Weldon Park for tennis courts, which would make sense to have the annual Weldon Tennis Tournament, which takes place at Gorin Park.
Councilman Freddie Norris said that back in the 1950s, the school property where the office is had two pairs of tennis courts.
Lowery, a middle school teacher, also shared some of her students had asked her about the possibility of having a basketball court at Gorin Park with some type of cover over it so they could play when its raining and they wanted a drinking fountain with cold water.
Various other ideas were suggested for some of the smaller park spaces as well and better tailoring the types of facilities at each park to the way the people in the neighborhoods want to use them, and Lowery said she is frustrated that work on the bathrooms at Gorin and Twyman hasn't started.
Upcoming events at parks or with which the department is involved include:
• Touch a Truck, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Beaver Creek Park
• Groove & Glow, 4 to 10 p.m. Sept. 21 at Glasgow Municipal Airport
• Strut Your Mutt, 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 22 at Beaver Creek Park
• Movie in the Park, 7 p.m. Sept. 27 at Beaver Creek Park
• Halloween Fest, 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 25, Ralphie's Fun Center
The next regular meeting for the committee is 5:30 p.m. Oct. 14 in the conference room adjacent to Council Chambers.