The Farmington City Council made a 40-year agreement between the city and the Farmington R-7 School District official on June 12.
The council unanimously approved Bill 47062014 – for tennis court construction and maintenance agreement.
Farmington City Administrator Greg Beavers explained the agreement between the two entities goes back to July of 1974.
The construction of new courts was one project listed in the district’s no-tax increase bond issue passed by voters in April. Early estimates show the project to cost around $480,000.
Under the agreement, the city will reimburse the district for half the cost of the courts in January of 2015 and 2016.
Bids on the project would go out after the Farmington R-7 School Board approved the agreement at Tuesday’s special board meeting and will be solicited by the city.
The courts are to be constructed near Randy Ragsdale baseball field, located across from Engler Park on Vargo Road.
The plans call for two sets of three tennis courts to be constructed on a grassy area with a center section containing bleacher seating for spectators
This location will allow for the use of amenities located near the proposed courts.
The city is placing a restroom/concession stand facility at the baseball complex located in the same area as the proposed courts.
In addition, the soccer fields across Vargo Road have similar available facilities.
One of the largest cost would be lighting the cost at $145,000.
Discussion was held on if it would be necessary to light the courts. Beavers expressed officials with the district said lighting would not be necessary for the school’s use.
The city sought input on the city of Farmington – Public Services Facebook page by replying “yes” as to how many people would use the courts after dusk.
Earlier this week, it was unanimous “yes” votes by those who commented on the post.
Input from the community is welcome and can be done through the city’s Facebook page or the website, www.farmington-mo.gov.
Initial proposals call for the courts to be constructed using post-stressed concrete – a method commonly used in the construction of tennis courts where cables are placed both directions a certain amount of feet apart within the concrete, then tensioned to a certain weight.
“It has a much better life cycle. (The concrete) won’t separate when it cracks,” Beavers said.
Beavers told the council the new courts would open up the possibility of hosting tennis tournaments and the stacking of the courts is more conducive for coaches during play.
The ordinance passed on Thursday made official almost 40-year old agreement between the district and the city.
Beavers referred to the agreement as the “Hager letter” during the meeting.
In July of 1974, then-Mayor Floyd Hager and Robert Cox, president of the Farmington R-7 School Board, signed an agreement for the construction of the current courts near Farmington High School.
“It is mutually agreed upon between the City of Farmington and the Farmington R-7 School District that they shall cooperate on the construction and maintenance of four tennis courts on property owned by the School District,” the agreement reads, further stating the courts would be constructed “according to the plans and specifications prepared jointly by the City and School District” – sharing the cost of labor, material, fencing, nets and major maintenance costs.
“If the courts are eventually lighted,” the agreement goes on to read, “the City will pay the capital costs and lighting maintenance and operating costs.”
The July 12, 1974 edition of The Farmington News reports it was a split vote from the council on whether to enter into the agreement, centered on the time set aside for the district to use the courts.
The story stated the council was concerned, “after the schedule for school use was read, several aldermen felt that little time remained for public use and that maybe the money could better be used to build two additional city courts.”
Hager broke the deadlock with his “yes” vote at the meeting in 1974.
Shawnna Robinson is the managing editor for the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-756-8927 or firstname.lastname@example.org