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Village board discusses future of tennis courts

The deteriorating tennis courts at Summit Park were the main topic of discussion for the Ellsworth Village Board meeting early last week.

"Sooner or later, it's going to be a liability," said Public Works Director Greg Engeset. "Something has to be done."

Engeset estimated the cost to fix the cracks was $80,000 and, at the same time, to start over from scratch would be a cost of $25-$30,000 per court. (Summit currently has four).

Some of the board members questioned spending that amount of money on an item that, besides matches from the Ellsworth School District, hardly gets used.

Engeset said the village could explore grant possibilities to help with costs but, for right now, his recommendation would be to build two new ones. That idea was to be discussed among further ones when the Parks, Recreation and Development committee was to meet Tuesday.

In other action, the board:

--Heard the latest from Engeset on the status of the Pamida building. He said construction has been delayed because the plans hadn't gotten state approval until recently, in which they're conditionally approved. He expects construction to resume quickly. When the groundbreaking occurred in June, Pamida had hoped to have construction done by mid-September, with an opening in November.

--Approved a request to waive the impact fees for the Ellsworth Boy Scouts building at the fairgrounds. Glenn Wakefield, who is a member of the American Legion, which is a sponsor of the Boy Scouts, presented the request to the board. He said the present building the Boy Scouts have on the fairgrounds is old and antiquated, and the new one will be for storage for the Boy Scouts only. "There will be no commercial usage for it," he said. "It's something to help them out," he said of the 24x26 building. There was discussion among board members on whether or not this would set a precedent for non-profit organizations, but Wakefield stressed the buildings would wash each other out, for which the board agreed.

--Approved a request to replace the sidewalks in front of Pierce County Meats and Hines Insurance Agency, plus curb replacement on N. Grant Street and Overlook Drive. The total cost for the project is estimated to be $18,500.

--Accepted the low bid of $18,961.05 from Ellsworth Ford-Mercury for a four-wheel drive pickup truck to be used for general purposes in the village.

--Heard from Police Chief Greg Place, who said National Night Out, held on Aug. 7, was well-received in the community and organizers heard a lot of positive comments.

--Approved Jasper's Eastender Bar and Grill Class B retailers license and annual dance license application.

--Set the next monthly meeting for 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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