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Funkstown park to get new basketball court

New tennis courts also planned, pending state approval

New tennis courts also planned, pending state approval

October 13, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

FUNKSTOWN -- Funkstown Community Park should have a new basketball court next spring and, if state officials approve, new tennis courts within a year.

Town council members approved the low bid Monday night for a new basketball court and 320 feet of sidewalk for the park. The contract went to the Hagerstown business Henson & Son Inc., which bid $41,738 for the basketball court and $6,400 for a walkway.

The basketball court will go in the new section of the park, Assistant Mayor Paul Crampton Jr. said. The old court is being used for parking.

The sidewalk will go from the new pavilion on the third-base side of the ballpark to the existing sidewalk and should improve access for the Battle of Funkstown re-enactment. Many handicapped people couldn't get from the old part of the park to the new section during July's re-enactment, Crampton said.

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Town officials also voted to ask Program Open Space (POS) officials if they can use POS grant money to refurbish the park's tennis courts.

Town Clerk Brenda Haynes said Tuesday the town had $55,000, including $49,500 in POS money and $5,500 for the town's 10 percent contribution, for a long-term park project that includes two multipurpose fields, a parking lot and a storm-water management pond.

Of that $55,000, the $25,000 designated for design and construction of the pond has not been spent.

The town spent $14,500 for design work for the fields and parking, with $15,500 remaining from that portion of the grant.

Crampton was concerned that with the state's current fiscal woes, the long-term park project would run into a financial dead end. Any chance of completing a major project probably is many years down the road, he said.

Instead, he suggested asking state officials if the town can use the $40,500 left from the grant to fix the tennis courts, which are in dire need of repairs.

If POS officials approve of the change, they would have to go before the state's Board of Public Works for final approval.

Refurbishing the tennis courts would include ripping up the old ones and providing surfacing for two new courts as well as new netting and two lights, according to Crampton and Haynes.

Councilman John Phillips III said he didn't think the town needed new multipurpose fields. There is a Little League minor league ball field in the park that could be spruced up and used as an all-purpose field.

Haynes said Tuesday that field is used by National Little League for practices.

Crampton and council members Phillips, Sharon Chirgott and Richard Nigh voted in favor of the proposal. Council members Kim Ramer and Jerry Walker were absent.

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