American Canyon Skate Park (copy)

The American Canyon skate park is nearly two decades old and needs repairs or a new location, according to residents and city officials. The City Council recently voted to spend $100,000 to upgrade the skate park, as well as another $175,000 to renovate various basketball and tennis courts.

American Canyon in 2019 should see its basketball courts, tennis courts and skate park in better shape.

The City Council voted last month to transfer $275,000 from its general fund to its capital project fund. That will allow the city to move forward with the renovations when the rainy season winds down.

Targeted for repair are the tennis courts and basketball courts at Elliott Park and the basketball court at Northampton Park. They’ve worn over time.

“The playing surface has cracks and is old and uneven,” City Manager Jason Holley said in a phone interview.

Old surfaces will be ground away and replaced with new surfaces, he said. Work will likely begin between April and June, given it must be done during the dry season.

Plus, the city will add pickleball lines to the renovated tennis courts. Pickleball is a game that is a cross between tennis and other paddle sports, with the back line 22 feet from the net.

The skate park, with its various metal ramps, opened about 15 years ago. City officials last summer debated what to do with the aging facility, given the school district might someday want to purchase the land.

The City Council authorized Holley to execute a contract with American Ramp Co. for $100,000. Holley said existing structures will be revamped and elements will be added.

Already under a separate contract are several planned improvements at the skate park, such as repairing a grind box and replacing ground anchor bolts on some of the ramps, Parks and Recreation Director Creighton Wright said during the Dec. 18 City Council meeting.

There is more city park renovation work to be done. In October, the Parks and Community Services Commission came up with a long list of deferred maintenance projects, including repairing the Wetlands Edge Trail and replacing a concrete path at Community Park 1, which has yet to be named.

Vice Mayor Kenneth Leary said he keeps up his car with regular oil changes. The Golden Gate Bridge is constantly being painted. But city parks don’t see this type of preventive care.

“We need a (parks) maintenance plan,” Leary said. “And we need to be able to fund that so we don’t get here again. Deferred maintenance always costs more.”

Several residents during public comments praised the council’s move to repair the courts and skate park, though one said it disturbingly took a public outcry. A resident stepped to the speaker’s lectern with a sign that said “Save our Parks.”

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Napa County Reporter

Barry Eberling covers Napa County government, transportation, the environment and general assignments. He has worked for the Napa Valley Register since fall 2014 and previously worked 27 years for the Daily Republic of Fairfield.