RESULTS OF SURVEY:
HARDING TOWNSHIP PUBLIC TENNIS COURTS
Recently, in response to a request by The Township Committee, the Harding Township Civic Association sought input from the citizens of Harding regarding the fate of the town's tennis courts located next to Kirby Hall parking lot. Built in the 1980's, these hard surface courts are currently not safely playable.
The survey was sent to 643 e-mail addresses signed up to receive HTCA e-mails. 341 viewed the survey and 242 completed it. Note that not everyone answered all the questions. Those surveyed were asked to consider that the Harding School recently agreed to allow residents to use two new courts behind the school but only during daylight hours and when school or school activities are not underway.
While this was purely an opinion poll, the Township Committees is grateful for the input from those who responded. The results are summarized below. To read all the comments made by respondents, go to the HTCA website at www.hardingcivic.org
Question 1. Have you or anyone in your family ever used the tennis courts?
59.4% no (148)
40.5% yes (101)
47.0% no one in the family plays (73)
27.0% poor condition of the courts (42)
15.4% play at club/indoor courts (24)
10.3% “other answers”
Question 3. If you answered “yes” in question 1, please indicate how often you used the courts during the season.
71.8% occasionally (74)
17.4% View “Other” Answers
10.6% 1-3 times per week (11)
0% more than 3 times per week. (0)
THE FUTURE OF THE TENNIS COURT
These are the options under consideration
DEMOLISH THE COURTS. This job, executed by the Harding Township Department of Public Works, would involve scrapping the fence, removing the surface and returning the land to meadow. Cost would be $9,000-11,000.
RESTORE THE COURTS. Restoration would be performed by contractors. About 3 years ago the cost of this work was estimated at $50,000. If the layers under the courts were problematic then the job could cost an additional $20,000.
A more current estimate would need to be researched.
ABANDON THE COURTS. No work performed. Cost - $0.
41.7% Demolish the Courts (98)
34,3% Restore the Courts (81)
14.8% Abandon the Courts (35)
8.9% View “Other” Answers
COMMENTS MADE BYRESPONDANTS TO THE SURVEY ON TENNIS COURTS
Have not played there in about 10 years. It was unsafe even then.
If they were in better shape, would probably use. The school courts may be too limited.
You cannot use current usage into account because of the disrepair. What was the usage like when they were in good condition?
Our daughter played on them with Harding friends while growing up.
Would have more with my daughter, but courts were missing net, not great shape. It’s a luxury to have them, but if not used/maintained, they are not a needed expense to taxpayer.
The courts are in such bad condition they’re unplayable and dangerous.
We have not used the courts in recent years because of the poor condition.
No one in the family plays tennis. They are a waste of Township money. Put in place by the same people who gave us Glen Alpin.
We have played but stopped due to their poor condition.
Grown family not living in this area, but we were also members of a golf and tennis club.
It was a great asset at the time but since our tax dollars have already provided a great alternative at the school why do we need two sets of tennis courts. I suspect it will be rare that anyone will ever have to wait to get onto a court but if they do that is part of living in a community. People share.
No one in the family plays tennis. Never used them in the 32 years we’ve lived in Harding.
Would play if they were in good shape.
Great place to take my kids before they were old enough for school to hit the ball around and have some fun.
One of 3 courts has been unplayable for years and the other has only been marginal. Had they been properly maintained there would have still been some play.
It was wonderful to have when we first moved into town but now there are better courts available at the school. We certainly do not need more courts.
Never knew they existed
Didn’t know about them
Grown kids don’t live here
Think in this economy we need to NOT have unnecessary expenses and most families in Harding have other choices of places to play.
Just moved to town.
My husband and I both play tennis so if we had lived here longer we probably would use the courts.
Wanted to play at night.
I would play occasionally during good weather.
I usually play at Columbia Racquet Club in Florham Park, but I have used our courts. If our courts were in good shape, I would use them more.
Since most town courts are for “townspeople” we were unable to find a place to play for fun. We ended up at Chatham Day school using their courts (our daughter was attending there at the time). It would be nice to have courts available for Harding.
I think tennis courts are a great addition to our county resources. We have very few places for our kids to play together in Harding.
We were told when we moved here that the courts were not able to be used.
I would use courts if there were sign-up sheets for people that want to play, or way to join a group.
How to sign up not well publicized.
Kids are grown. Haven’t lived here that long.
Weren’t they just finished being built and then the snow came?
Just moved into the area.
We have our own court.
Didn’t know about them.
Grown family not living in this area. But we were also members of a golf and tennis club.
Just moved to town.
New to town and poor condition of the courts.
I supported restoring the courts until the School courts became available. This is a reasonable compromise consistent with the goals of our town not to overspend or duplicate resources.
Since the cost seems pretty high, we’d be willing to make a small donation or help some other way.
I think most citizens in HT are members of clubs or are away for most of the summer.
PLEASE restore them!! It will be great to have courts to use in town with less time restriction than those at the school
Bocce court (3 request)
Dog park or playground
I don’t have enough information on which to make a determination. If rebuilding courts would take away from another project-I wouldn’t necessarily vote yes. I would imagine most tennis players in this area belong to clubs…
Restore the courts. Allow sign-ups at the library. Organize a tennis league. Tell the township committee and powers to be to be creative for a change.
I think an assessment of potential use should be done.
Could this area be used for roller skating?
A playground is something the town should consider offering for young children.
Restore them if the majority of residents are in favor. Is this a vote or just an opinion poll? Please confirm the results.
Build a playground so all residents can use it during the day. A very nice way of keeping the community together instead of going to Madison or BR.
Make a sitting area with kids’ playground.
Demolish unless a need is determined in addition to the school courts.
Community courts are an important asset for the town.
Harding Green redid their two courts a few years back for $20k+ cracks in playing area. The new surface would allow basketball to be played in the area without harm to the surface. It would allow for dual use of the area.
If they are to be removed, use the existing surface to house solar panels to support Town Hall and the Library.
If the courts were in good condition more people would want to use them.
Please restore them! We would love to use the courts and think that it would be a valuable resource for the town for years to come. The town that I grew up in (Ridgewood, NJ) has many town courts and they got used VERY frequently.
Various alternatives for restoration are available, and these should be researched.
To re-state my earlier comments, we have ice skating in winter at Bayne Park, why not offer tennis courts to our kids and families in the summer?
There are so few places for kids to meet and do a physical activity. Tennis is a great healthy way for families to be active in our town.
Keep them as they are, maybe future residents might want to repair them.
The costs of a complete restoration, including adding benches, lighting, etc. could be covered by private funds. The area could also be enhanced with the addition of inexpensive horse shoe pits, and perhaps a gazebo with a few picnic tables for small family gatherings. This might then become a highly regarded amenity of Harding Township where people might gather and enjoy newly updated and properly maintained facilities. I hope that this input is helpful, and will be considered in making a final determination.
If abandoned, the foot print remains for some time. If circumstances allow, they could be restored in future. $0. If lot used in another way, demolish cost might be part of that project. They pose no harm or esthetic issue. If people would use them, different story. They are a luxury item at a time when cutbacks seem appropriate.
while the Harding School Courts would be a helpful addition, our town should have its own playable tennis courts for Harding Residents. The cost is not overly burdensome considering the public benefit for children and adults and the many number of years of service that restoration would provide.
It is important to note that a summer camp is held at the Harding Township School and the courts will not be available to residents M-F during those hours.
How about creating a small dog park in the meadow?
Demolish the courts. They seem very unsightly at this point. Invest the 9,000 - 10,000 to keep the area in sync with the rest of the town i.e. rural and bucolic
It makes sense to not repair and maintain the court while an alternative exists. Although the demolition price seems high given the nature of the court's assembly.
Abandon the courts. Lock the gate and throw away the key. Let nature return the courts to nature for no fee. When the pavement is gone, remove the fence.
Demolish the courts. Seems like a way to keep our town "green". Get rid of an eyesore and get rid of a tempting safety hazard.
Restore the courts. The township is already short on community-oriented activities. Having the courts near the library and town hall provides another avenue for residents to enjoy and feel part of the community.
Restore the courts. just the way that residents stepped up to build a Library”.... Find those interested to restore the tennis courts. Contact Bailey Brower of Chatham Twp Committee and Noe Pond for best way to proceed.
Demolish the courts. It is possible that a Green Acres loan was used to build the courts, so there may be a requirement to contact the State.
The Courts have outlived their usefulness and I cannot imagine why the Township taxpayer should be asked to make these costly repairs when we just paid for two new courts at the school. This makes no sense. They should be removed, the material recycled and the site returned to meadow.
Tennis is well out of favor and those that do play have a club o go to. Anything done with the courts is a waste of money.
Not sure - how much will they be used!!!!!
Various alternatives for restoration are available. These should be researched.
DPW doesn’t have the time or equipment to demolish. Outside contractors should be used.
The school has courts that can be used. It’s a waste of taxpayer money to restore tennis courts.
It is inexcusable that the existing courts were allowed to deteriorate to such an extent. There is a desperate need for courts that can be used by Township residents.
It would be nice if they were lit at night.
Unsafe and unsightly to leave abandoned. Not enough usage to restore courts.
would be a nice spot for a garden with benches for sitting and reflecting
My first choice would be to restore the courts because we have so few recreational facilities in the town so it would be a nice feature. My second choice is demolish the courts if they are not restored because they are in poor condition and give a run down feel to the municipal building and library area
My kids and I used to play on the courts all the time when the kids were young, despite the poor condition of the courts. It was a great place to meet-up with friends or meet new people. We were just hackers, but it didn't matter. The courts provide a very valuable community gathering place, in a community where that should be encouraged more. Why don't you consider a public/private partnership on the restoration, with the township matching any private funds raised?
When my kids were young (~15 years ago) we used to go up and play on the courts, despite the frayed nets and cracked surface. We would often see others using the courts, some good tennis players, others hackers like us. It was a great community gathering place and we have MANY fond memories from then. Eventually they were too cracked to use and we stopped. Our town needs more places like this to bring the community together. I'd suggest you seek donations and have the township match funds. It would be great to have the courts back and better than ever.
Abandon for now and when we have the capital demolish.
If there's significant interest in court use by the community leading to a return on investment, I would restore. Could the courts be used for fundraising purposes, events, meeting spots?
It is one of the few "extra" recreational opportunities in our town. Many of our neighboring towns have swimming pools and other recreational facilities. It would be a great "extra" for Harding.
Problematic not being able to use courts at Harding Township school during school hours. I feel the courts would be an eyesore if abandoned completely. Meadow is preferred.
Demolish when we have extra money in the budget- probably not now. Better uses for the funds
It's disgraceful that a township with average homes worth 1 million, allowed public amenities such as the tennis courts to decay, and more importantly are even considering abandoning them to further disrepair.
Demolish the old courts. Use the $ to put lighting in the new courts. Don't abandon the courts. It's an eye sore.
I think the courts are a good resource for the community
Why not research doing a 'multi sport court' allowing for more use than just tennis.
If not demolished, the courts will become an unsafe nuisance for kids to play on possibly get hurt. Plant grass and wild flowers instead.
Either demolish or restore. I would not choose abandon because they will become a safety liability and eyesore. While I realize the town wants to save money, we also don't want something right next to town hall to look like a third world location.
Courts are in dismal shape, other sources for play are available. Keep in line with the bucolic and rural nature of Harding and demolish the courts and restore that area
It would be nice to restore the courts so that they would be available for town residents to play. The school courts, although a generous offer, will likely not be often or predictably available.
While I favor restoring the courts, under no circumstances should they continue to be abandon. They already been allowed to decay to the point of dereliction and are a visual insult to the 1,000s of hours volunteers spend keeping Harding visually special.
And Add Paddle Tennis Courts for Winter Play
$50,000 seems very high. Ideally the courts should be restored if there is expected to be sufficient use.
Replace with an organic community garden
Install pickle ball courts
PLEASE restore them!! I will be great to have courts to use in town with less time restriction than those at the school!
Clearly, abandoning the courts is the wrong answer on many fronts. Also, years ago there was an offer from someone in town to help restore the courts, but that avenue was not pursued, and we now have two nice courts at HTS.
Having public courts available for broad use by residents is both desirable and appropriate. To demolish the courts would be a horrible statement that you get nothing for your tax $ in Harding aside from police protection and a K-8 school.
I see no logic in spending additional taxpayer money repairing or keeping these courts. We should remove and recycle the material and return the site to meadow.
Given the school now has courts that can be used during off hours by Harding residents, I would like to see the courts demolished and restored to meadow. It is very important to me that it be restored to meadow/open space and not for another use.
Something in between demolish and abandon - i.e remove fence and remove asphalt in increments over the next couple years during slow times at DPW.
We have spent tax dollars already on the two courts at the school. Do we need more Courts??? NO!
The $50,000 estimate seems very high. Ideally, it would be nice to keep the courts if the costs were reasonable and there was a high indication that they would be used.
it is a good feature for the town and we would use the course all the time
Repurpose area to be used by community for example: rollerblading, bocci, shuffleboard, basketball, synthetic ice etc.
Since the school created the new impervious surface, and will permit residents to use their new courts, removing this old impervious surface is the right thing to do.
It is an embarrassment that a town with our resources lets a asset slide into complete disrepair. We would use much more often if the courts were safe
The Township Committee seeks input from the citizens of Harding regarding the fate of the town's tennis courts located next to Kirby Hall parking lot. Built in the 1980's, these hard surface courts are currently not safely playable.
Before voicing your opinion, please consider that the Harding School recently agreed to allow residents to use two new courts behind the school but only during daylight hours and when school or school activities are not underway.
Click HERE to complete the survey. Please complete the survey by Friday, April 11 in time for the next Township meeting.
Monday, March 17, 2014 at 7:30 PM
ADEQUATE NOTICE of this meeting of the Harding Township Committee was given as follows: Notice was sent to the DAILY RECORD and the OBSERVER TRIBUNE on January 22, 2014; Notice was posted on the Bulletin Board in the Township Hall on Blue Mill Road in Harding, NJ on January 22, 2014, and Notice was filed with the Township Clerk on January 22, 2014.
ROLL CALL Ms. DiTosto, Mr. Lanzerotti, Mr. Newlin, Mr. Platt, Mr. Ward
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
REVIEW OF TENTATIVE AGENDAS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS
EXECUTIVE SESSION DETERMINATION
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
February 18, 2014
o Resolution TC 14-050 – Budget to be Read by Title
o Resolution TC 14-051 – Introduction of Budget
2014 Capital Plan
Ordinances – Introduction
Ordinances – Public Hearing
1. Ordinance TC 02-14 – CPI Ordinance
2. Ordinance TC 03-14 –Ordinance to Authorize the Appropriation of Funds from the Open Space Trust Fund and the Green Acre Fund (Frelinghuysen)
Consent Agenda Resolutions
1. Resolution TC 14-052 – Bill List – February
2. Resolution TC 14-053 – Tax Appeal Settlements
3. Resolution TC 14-054 – Resignation of Assistant Treasurer
4. Resolution TC 14-055 – Award Contract – Electrical Subcode Official
5. Resolution TC 14-056 – Award Contract – Special Labor Counsel
6. Resolution TC 14-057 – Fire Department Appointment - Cullis
7. Resolution TC 14-058 – Authorizing Execution of Amended Conservation Easement – Van Beuren Farms Associates, LLC – Van Beuren Road/ Griffin Lane
8. Resolution TC 14-059 – Approval of Developers Agreement – Van Beuren Farms Associates, LLC
9. Resolution TC 14-060 – Authorizing extension of DOT Grant
10. Resolution TC 14-061 – Authorizing RFP for Renovations to Municipal Building
11. Resolution TC 14-062 – Authorization to Purchase Replacement Sign for Municipal Building
HEARING PERSONS PRESENT
Great Swamp Watershed Association
Great Swamp Watershed Association wants to help you find out! This April they will be offering Harding Township residents a cost effective opportunity to have their household’s well water thoroughly tested using professional labs, testing for a broad range of water quality parameters. Look for more information in next month’s Thumbnail on cost and drop off location. To have your name added to the growing list of those wishing to participate in the testing program or for more information please call Kelly Martin at 973 538 3500 x 19 at the Great Swamp Watershed Association. To learn more about the Great Swamp Watershed Association please visit: http://www.GreatSwamp.org
Registrations are still being accepted for these Field Hockey programs:
New This Year: Participants can register online using a credit card!
Please visit the HTRA website (www.htra.info) for registration forms and additional information.
Registration is now open for Tball through March 29th, don’t miss the deadline!
All Harding Township Residents entering Kindergarten or first grade for the 2014-15 school year, pre-school or Kindergarten are eligible to play. Teams are co-ed. The season runs Friday evenings, April 25, 2014 - June 6, 2014. All games are on Friday nights from 6:00 pm to 7:00pm at the fields behind Harding Township School. It’s a great way to introduce your child to the sport.
There are great volunteer opportunities, since we need volunteer Coaches, Assistant Coaches, Team Parents, and Sponsors. Volunteer information is also on the T-ball page of the HTRA Website.