Kane borough officials discuss repair work on park courts

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KANE — Members of the Kane Borough Council properties committee and Friends of Evergreen Park met in the park on Monday with a group of pickleball players to discuss the position the borough finds itself in regarding funding of the repair of the tennis and basketball courts.


Borough councilman and committee chairman Dennis Drost said the borough has found themselves in a precarious situation after $59,000 in grant money was approved through the McKean County Redevelopment Authority to repave the courts. However, Drost said the amount approved for the quote from Nagle Athletic Surfaces of East Syracuse, N.Y., was only to repair cracks and not resurface the whole court. He said Nagle quoted the borough $82,000 for a full repaving of the courts in Evergreen Park.


Dick Bly from the Friends of Evergreen Park summed up the borough’s predicament to the pickleball players.


“We’re in a pickle,” Bly said.


According to a letter sent to the borough from Paul Brown of Nagle, the county redevelopment authority wrote the specifications for the project as repaving and not repairing after the county bid the project last month. Bly said the borough currently has a grant for $59,000 for a project that will cost $82,000, and since the way the grant was written, the borough must use the $59,000 to repave — not repair — the courts.


What Drost would like to see is the McKean County Redevelopment Authority make an amendment to the grant to allow for the repairs to be made. He said he would forward a letter from Nagle to the redevelopment authority today. Drost said if the redevelopment authority would not reconsider, he and Bly would meet with the county commissioners in Smethport.


Drost said prisoners from the McKean County Jail will come to the park to paint the fence. He said while the prisoners are there, the courts will be locked and off limits to the public.


“I don’t want to expose anybody to any prisoners,” Drost said.


Drost said the borough will supply the paint for the project. He also mentioned the lights for the courts are now on a timer and will automatically shut off in between 10 and 10:30 p.m.


In spite of roadblocks at the county level, the courts are receiving support from borough citizens. Highlander Energy of Kane has offered to remove the old posts and install new posts in the park’s tennis courts.


Councilman Tom Kase said a drain by the east entrance of the courts is also in the mix. Drost reported that Chittester Excavating of Kane offered to do any digging for the drain free of charge.


Drost said while the funding has not been approved on the borough level at this time, new posts and nets cost in between $2,500 to $3,000.


Pickleball player Becky Porcolab said the pickleball players alone have pledged approximately $2,800, and she has pledged $1,000 to the repair of the courts. Porcolab said that regular players come from as far away as Bradford and Johnsonburg to play pickleball on the courts at Evergreen Park. She said they have even occasionally seen players coming in from as far away as Emporium.


Porcolab said the repairs on the courts would attract more visitors to the borough.


“When we get nice courts,” Porcolab said. “I think we’ll see more people.”


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