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Fundraising help needed …

In disrepair, South Thomaston basketball, tennis courts need TLC

Selectman Spear spearheads effort to raise necessary funds to renovate longtime town recreation area
By Mark Haskell | Mar 31, 2021
Courtesy of: John Spear The South Thomaston basketball and tennis courts.

South Thomaston — All things need a little TLC. Tender loving care, as it were.

And the town's tennis and basketball courts certainly fall into that category, as Selectman John Spear is, well, spearheading an effort to return those courts to their former glory.

“Back in the day, those courts got a lot of play,” said Spear, who was a business manager at Maine School Administrative District 50 for two decades and has been a selectman on and off for South Thomaston for 13 years. “Both Georges Valley and Rockland [District] high schools used them for several years where the tennis teams played. And they were kind of known as the best tennis courts around. But time and New England weather and lack of maintenance has taken its toll on them.”

Originally, the town was told the renovation would cost $20,000. But, under closer review, those estimates have increased to $34,181.

“The guys that originally gave us the estimate originally based on a photo,” said Spear. “Then they came out and looked at it and it was more money than they thought it was going to be. The photo didn’t do it justice.”

The town originally voted to appropriate $10,000 — to go along with the conditional $10,000 Land and Water Conservation Grant from the Bureau of Parks and Recreation —  at a town meeting in June 2020.

However, given the increase, the Bureau of Parks and Recreation has urged the town to revise its grant application to secure 50 percent of the $14,181 increase.

That grant from the Bureau of Parks and Recreation, which would then be $17,090.50, will be awarded under three conditions.

First, the town relocate the access road gate to a point that is beyond the courts, to construct a small parking area and to construct two paths connecting the parking spaces to the entrances of the courts, the latter two of which are to be Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant.

All of this hinges on the town being able to fundraise an additional $7,090.50, which can be made in cash, in-kind material, labor or equipment.

Spear said $1,475 already has been raised, leaving $5,615.50 remaining to be raised to make the project a reality.

“If someone is willing to even just donate use of a truck or anything, we can put a value on that,” said Spear.

The hope is the funds can be raised in time for the work to be conducted over the summer, so the courts again are playable during the good weather.

Cash donations should be made to the Town of South Thomaston with a note “court repairs” on the memo line. Typically, donations to municipalities are tax deductible.

For more information, or to make a donation, contact Spear by phone at 596-3545 or via email at john@souththomaston.me.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Debra Damon | Apr 01, 2021 06:40

Can someone start a gourmet account?  I'd gladly start it if it's okay.



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