There will be no more tennis courts at Albert Erb Conservation Area in Wellesley, not that anyone was using them anyways.
The courts have fallen into disrepair, with significant problems identified with the lights, fencing, nets and playing surface – in short, the entire facility.
The changes were discussed by township councillors meeting Tuesday night in Crosshill.
The current plan is to have the courts, asphalt and all, ripped up in the next month, and seeded with grass. There is no sense in taking the time and money to repair them when they are so underused, said staff in a report from recreation director Brad Voisin.
“It is either do a fairly extensive repair on it, or take the thing out. For it not being accessible, to spend a lot of money on it wasn’t really the recommendation from Brad,” CAO Rik Louwagie told council members. “He thinks that we should tear that asphalt out now and use that money to go towards something in the future that can really be used.”
With the court in disrepair, safety was the number-one priority for staff.
“It was definitely a safety aspect there with the pad itself and the cracks in it. There was talk of maybe rollerbladers using that pad, and the cracks were definitely a big issue for that,” he said. “For tennis it may not be as detrimental, but nonetheless, someone could easily trip on those cracks and result in injury.”
Dan Roth of the township’s recreation department described the condition of the court.
“There is some sufficient cracking in the asphalt. It is not a very thick surface and if we were to do work on it, we would definitely do patch work at this point in time. There would have to be significant work done to make the surface suitable for long term success,” he said.
Coun. Peter van der Maas wanted to see a resolution.
“What kind of timelines would we be looking at for [removing the tennis courts]? Right now, it is a contentious issue. It remains contentious because it just sits there not being used. It is a focal point,” he asked.
Louwagie clarified the plan for the space.
“As far as removing everything, I think that it would be done in the next month. That is the hope. As far as building something else there, it won’t be this year,” he said. “I think the plan is to save the gravel base that is there, and leave it until the fall and then the gravel would be removed, topsoil put in and grass seeded. To rip that gravel out right now and put topsoil in, it would just grow weeds and nothing else. We are going to leave that until it is a better growing season.”