Sheridan Recreation District plans Thorne-Rider tennis court repairs

SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Recreation District plans to resurface the tennis courts at Thorne-Rider Park this summer.

The project carries a cost of approximately $23,000, according to the low-bid from Evergreen Tennis out of Colorado.

Rec. district director Richard Wright said Wednesday at the SRD regular board meeting that he has spoken with the Sheridan Athletic Association, and they agreed to commit $18,000 to the project. The Sheridan Athletic Association receives grants from the Thorne-Rider Foundation each year.

Wright is also in the process of acquiring a grant from the United States Tennis Association. Grants from the USTA could range anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000, Wright said.

At last month’s meeting, the board discussion on funding the court repairs touched on possibly pairing with the Sheridan Community Tennis Association in some way. The board discussed the possibility of covering the tennis courts and making them an indoor facility, which would obviously carry a bigger cost. The SCTA has long searched for a location for an indoor facility and has money raised. The board wanted to be sure any such joint venture would be in the interest of the entire community, meaning that it would not be a facility solely for the SCTA. The board discussed this again yesterday, but no contact had been made with the SCTA yet.

While those details were unclear and seemingly in early stages at Wednesday’s meeting, the board was intent on being sure that at least the court surface repairs happen.

“This is a project that we don’t really want to let go by,” Wright said. He explained that the cracks on the courts are significant, becoming dangerous, and need to be addressed. He also didn’t want this to contribute to the small number of outdoor courts in Sheridan.

The board has budget for the project in the upcoming fiscal year, with the hope that they will be reimbursed by the donations.

Fourth of July Freedom Fest— After a successful first two years at their old Woodland Park school location, Business Manager Richard Bridger pointed out Wednesday that they don’t have a place for the Fourth of July Freedom Fest this year, and will not be holding an event.

The SRD no longer manages the old Woodland Park school.

Julian said they should brainstorm ways to make the event happen next year.

He liked the event not only because it was so popular, but also because it gave folks a place to go during the day on the Fourth of July that wasn’t drinking-oriented. The event featured mud volleyball and pie eating contest, among other things.

Hail damage – Like so many, the SRD was a victim of last week’s north Sheridan hailstorm. Wright reported to the board that six of the department’s trucks were damaged as were some of the roofs at the Thorne-Rider properties. He said that they were still waiting on an insurance claims agent to visit for estimates.

Job descriptions — The board approved revised full time job descriptions for SRD employees, adding clarity to the old writing.

Operating agreement — The board’s five-year operating agreement with the City of Sheridan, which exists largely for insurance liability reasons, is being reviewed for renewal by its attorneys. Wright distributed the redlined document to the board, saying changes updated the SRD’s changing properties like the old Woodland Park School. Details on the SRD management of Story Park were also removed, since it lies outside city limits and the SRD agreement is with the County.
“What I like about this is that it lets the City know what we’re responsible for and what they’re responsible for,” Wright said.

Park Foreman — The board approved Josh Dunkelburger as the new SRD park foreman. He will fill the position left by Jared Karsky, who resigned this spring.

The SRD board will meet again  Tuesday, July 16, when it plans to approve its annual budget for the coming fiscal year.

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Brad Estes

Sheridan Press sports editor

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