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Council commits to Erin Tennis Club repairs despite limited funds

During the meeting, Coun. John Brennan wanted to ensure Erin's financial contribution could be sourced from grants rather than relying on 'an expenditure of tax dollars'

ERIN ‒ While council has committed to funding part of the Erin Tennis Club's repairs in the 2024 budget, they remain unsure where the funds will come from. 

This follows a delegation from club president Andrew Salisbury in August where he asked that the town contribute $150,000 of $250,000 to cover long-term repairs for the club’s five tennis courts. 

The club currently has over 460 linear feet of cracks and a 200 square-foot depression or “sinkhole” that has rendered court five unusable.  

“It collects water and at this point now we've got cones around it to help prevent people from walking into it,” said Salisbury, during the previous meeting. “It's not a safety concern because nobody's playing there, but certainly it's a risk that people will eventually run into it and it's just not safe.”

During Thursday's council meeting, Coun. John Brennan wanted to know where Erin’s financial contribution would be sourced from rather than relying on “an expenditure of tax dollars.” 

“There is obviously the tax dollars portion,” said Wendy Parr, treasurer, and director of finance during the meeting. “And then there’s also some reserves.”

According to Parr, using money from the Centre 2000 reserve is an ideal option because the property is on Centre 2000 land and there are funds in that reserve. 

But Brennan didn’t understand why the money wouldn’t come from the general parks and recreation reserves. 

“The only reason I’m asking about that is I know there’s a projected 445,000 in the Centre 2000 reserve fund but I don’t know how much of that we’re going to spend on the (rest of the stuff for Centre 2000),” said Brennan. “So if we can tap possibly both of those, maybe one is sufficient to do it, but it would probably be easier on us if we can tap both.”

Parr said that because the property is on Erin Community Centre land, she’d prefer to use the Centre 2000 reserve but the parks and recreation reserves remain a possibility

The municipality also received a grant from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) that will be used towards the project. 

“A lot of the funding will be coming from that because it’s already approved,” said Parr. “We just have to spend it.” 

Mayor Michael Dehn also asked that 2024 budget discussions include looking into hiring someone to find grants for capital projects and maintenance work of the like. 

Isabel Buckmaster is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.

About the Author: Isabel Buckmaster, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Isabel Buckmaster covers Wellington County under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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