Parma serves up new tennis courts

May 22, 2013 by  

Parma, Ohio, has plans to build tennis courts in Veterans Memorial Park, located near the city center.

The new courts, which are estimated to cost $100,000, will be sited next to four extant courts. They are replacing four that were recently demolished to make way for the new Cuyahoga County library, which is currently under construction.

Funding for the courts could be tricky, since it comes from various sources, including highly competitive grants. One grant, for $70,000, would be from the U.S. Land and Water Conservation Fund, which operates under the auspices of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The additional $30,000 might come from Ohio NatureWorks (ONW), an organization that assists local governments in their efforts to obtain, develop, and restore recreational spaces. Derek Schafer, conservation project manager and watershed coordinator for West Creek Conservancy, said his organization applied for grants on behalf of Parma earlier this week.

The catch is that the city of Parma also has to appropriate funds. If the project receives a grant from ODNR, the city must provide an amount equivalent to 50% of the grant, while if ONW gives the project the go-ahead, Parma has to contribute 25% of the amount. Schafer said he is in the process of deciding how much to request so the city pays as little as possible. The grants will not be awarded until fall of this year, so construction will begin in spring 2014 if they are received.

The tennis courts will provide fun for many, so Parma officials might consider working with a banner printing expert to create something to display when it opens.