City Council approves renovation of Zielinski tennis courts

Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — By next year, residents, tennis aficionados and Crestwood School District students can work up a sweat at seven renovated tennis courts after the City Council approved the renovation during a City Council meeting Nov. 27.

The Don Zielinski Tennis Courts at Central Park, 2100 Kinloch, are scheduled to undergo renovations by May 1, after an intergovernmental agreement — between the city and Wayne county — is signed and the county returns the intergovernmental agreement documents to the city.

The city-owned tennis courts, installed 24 years ago, had numerous cracks on them and the crack repair material used on the courts have overgrown, Recreation Director Kenneth Grybel said.

“Up until now we’ve been doing a Band-Aid,” Grybel said. “(The) material used to fix the cracks is a trip hazard. Mainly it becomes a playing hazard because the ball can hit the cracks.”

Wayne County has a park millage that county taxpayers renewed for county parks and facilities. Wayne County invested some of that money back into communities, such as Dearborn Heights, that allocate a portion of millage funds to the county, Grybel said.

The formula, based on tax dollars, will give the city $47,800 of that allocated money, which they will use to renovate the tennis courts.

The intergovernmental agreement will allocate the $47,800 toward the renovation for the tennis courts and Crestwood will pay $17,944 for the remaining costs.

Grybel said the project already has been bid out but not awarded until the intergovernmental agreement documents are signed. Grybel said he anticipates the approval process should take place by
Jan. 15.

Crestwood Supt. Laurine VanValkenburg said fixing the tennis courts will help the community.

“The tennis courts were in very bad shape and it was difficult to play on the courts,” VanValkenburg said. “Fixing them would benefit our teams and our community. We are very pleased to have the repair done. This is good news for the district and Crestwood community.”

Replacing the tennis courts would have cost $300,000 — a cost too steep for both the county and city, Grybel said.

“That exceeds all of our abilities in getting grants or money from the general fund,” Grybel said.

The next step to fix the courts includes fixing cracks in the pavement by using an acrylic latex bonding liquid and acrylic latex patching and leveling compound to seal over the cracks.

The process also includes getting rid of all of the previous crack repair material and any ingrown vegetation in the cracks.

Grybel said renovating the tennis courts is well worth the money.

“This seemed like an excellent value for the money we are investing,” Grybel said.

Mayor Dan Paletko said he thinks the intergovernmental agreement is a “good cooperative effort.”

“It shows governments can work together,” Paletko said after the City Council meeting. “Having been a Crestwood graduate I just think that it is a good thing that we have two governmental entities that serve the same people and we come together and it benefits everybody.”

The courts are named after Donald Zielinski, a former Crestwood School District tennis coach, who impacted people in a positive way, Paletko said.

The Crestwood High School boys and girls tennis teams will use the courts primarily during the school year, while residents will use the courts in the afternoon and evenings, depending on demand, Grybel said.

For more information on the tennis courts restoration project go to asp?TN=126465& GroupID=1077.

(Sherri Kolade can be reached at