Belleville City Council has approved tenders for the construction of a basketball court at Tom Gavey Alemite Park and a lighted tennis court at Potters Creek Park.
The city has not built an outdoor basketball court in over 20 years.
However, the basketball court, costing $254,000, and the tennis court, costing $165,000, were well over budget.
Councilor Sean Kelly wondered why a single outdoor basketball court would cost a quarter of a million dollars. Transportation and operations manager Joe Reid said the court would involve special ground works and costly pavement and surface treatment to prevent it from heaving and cracking, thus preventing lawsuits against the city by those injured while playing.
Councilor Bill Sandison, while supporting the advancement of the basketball court, expressed concern that the budget had been set at $140,000 and had now nearly doubled. “We really need to be concerned about cost overruns on these projects.”
Mayor Mitch Panciuk told the council that due to the pandemic and international unrest, establishing an accurate budget has become nearly impossible.
Both courts will be built this season, but staff will soon present a report to council exploring the feasibility of lighting the basketball court.