One of Dade City’s most popular parks, Price Park, is set to have fence repairs to its two enclosed multi-use outdoor tennis courts, located at 37415 Magnolia Ave.
City officials have received several complaints because the courts’ existing fence has been stretched over the years and rolling on the lower portion of the fencing.
As a result, the fence no longer adequately retains tennis and pickleballs within the court boundaries — sometimes causing balls to kick out along the rest of the park and nearby streets.
A forthcoming project should do the trick to resolve the problem.
The Dade City Commission this month unanimously approved a contract agreement with Dade City-based Keeler Landscaping Inc., for fence replacement and the addition of a lower crossbar, to prevent the fence from rolling in the future.
The total cost of the upgrades is $14,102, which includes furnishing materials and labor for installation. The project is budgeted through the Penny for Pasco local government infrastructure surtax fund.
Two other project bids were received from other companies, coming in at $19,530 and $20,850, respectively.
Under listed scope of work, Keeler Landscaping will handle the following:
- Remove existing chain-link and haul away
- Install 442 feet of 10-foot high black vinyl chain-link fence with top, middle and bottom rail; all posts to be set into concrete
- Install two 7-foot high, 5-foot wide welded walk gates with a 3-foot header
The fence repair item was originally on the commission’s Dec. 8 consent agenda, but was pulled for further discussion and action.
Mayor Pro Tem Jim Shive, for one, expressed concerns that any new fence might be in similar condition several years from now, because some local youth have reportedly been seen using the tennis court space for playing soccer, roller skating, street hockey and so on.
However, Public Works Director Bryan Holmes indicated an installation of a lower crossbar should secure the bottom of the new chain link fence going forward.
Meanwhile, Mayor Camille Hernandez had questioned if the existing fence could simply be tacked down as a cost savings measure, but was told that was not an suitable option compared to replacing the entire fence.
The mayor acknowledged the price tag of the necessary fence repairs — “it’s expensive” — but added she understands its importance given “this is something that I’ve (been) approached by several people in our community, whether they play tennis or pickleball.”
“I kind of had sticker shock myself when I was first told (about the fence cost),” Hernandez said, “but, I know it’s something that when we talk about activities and things that the community can do, that’s an important focus for the community, especially here in these times.”
She added: “The last thing we need is for those balls going into Meridian (Avenue), and then we have a different situation.”
As for preventing kids from using the courts except for strictly tennis and pickleball, Hernandez pointed out the issue has been reported to the city’s police department.
But, by the same token, the mayor appeared lax in wanting to dish out any punishment or keep kids from getting exercise and playing outdoors, in any shape or form: “Your heart kind of goes out to them. They’re trying to keep busy, they’re trying to keep entertained.”
Published December 30, 2020