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May 7, 2012

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KATE LIEBERS

Staff Writer

Delaware City staff suggested dedicating an additional $16,000 to its park maintenance of facilities budget to repair the Mingo tennis court lighting system.

The proposal is to be presented to city council at its next meeting, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, May 14, at City Hall, 1 S. Sandusky St.

The lighting problem became apparent to city staff after a resident filed a complaint about the condition of the courts’ surface and nets, city manager Tom Homan said.

An inspection revealed that the entire lighting system was defective and was disabled after an electric supply was considered to pose a hazard, according to a memo sent by public works director Tim Browning.

The proposed repairs include removing, rewiring and reinstalling six existing tennis court light poles, rewiring the lighting controller and removing the electric panel at the shelter house and installing a junction box.

The reallocation of funds exceeds the estimated cost, which Jess Howard Electric Company Engineering and Contracting estimated to be $13,928.

Reiterating Browning’s memo, Homan said the problems were too complicated to be completed by city staff.

“Due to the vastness of the needed repairs and for liability reasons, staff deemed that the repairs should be completed by a licensed and certified electrical contractor,” wrote Browning.

If city council approves the project, the work could be completed in a matter of days, city finance director Dean Stelzer said. The goal would be to get the lights back on as quickly as possible to accommodate the increased play during the summer months, he added.

The resident’s original complaint was not forgotten, but it may have to wait until next year. Homan said that the city could make a bid in 2013 for the rehabilitation of the courts.

The public tennis courts at Mingo Park are the only ones in the city with a lighting system, Homan said.

Because the electrical problems were not identified until a few months ago, the repairs were not allocated in the original 2012 budget nor part of the levy-funded park improvement plan.

The city’s finance committee considered the parks maintenance of facilities supplemental request proposal Monday evening. No official vote was cast, although the general consensus was in favor of the allocation.