As remedial work continues to deal with the problem-plagued Recreation Park tennis court project, Binghamton City Council has authorized borrowing money for the work.

Lawmakers approved issuing $575,000 in bonds to cover the higher-than-expected costs associated with vapor issues affecting the surface of the newly-constructed courts.

According to Mayor Jared Kraham, the city is being reimbursed for the expenses associated with addressing the problems. He said in an email: "We’re not borrowing more money. We have to reflect additional costs — regardless of who is paying for them — on projects that have been bonded for. It’s similar if we get a grant on a project that increases the total cost."

A section of the new Recreation Park tennis courts on August 5, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
A section of the new Recreation Park tennis courts on August 5, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Kraham noted City Council previously approved a measure that cleared the way for fixing the tennis courts "while having contractors, designers, vendors, etc. responsible for the additional costs through insurance recovery."

The mayor said "it is my position the city not pay one cent for errors on projects that are not our fault, which is the case here."

Kraham previously said the city retained experts to conduct a "forensic analysis" to resolve what had been a mystery since the initial project was completed at the West Side park.

In April, workers from Broome Bituminous Products of Vestal stripped the top layer of asphalt from the courts after city officials concluded it didn't meet "expectations in terms of drainage and repelling water."

Additional core samples of the tennis courts have been taken in recent weeks.

A hole in the Rec Park tennis courts where a sample of the surface was recently taken. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
A hole in the Rec Park tennis courts where a sample of the surface was recently taken. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Kraham last month told 12 News that he hoped laminating of the courts would begin in the first week of August. As of Friday morning, that work had not started.

The mayor said the new process will be done in sections. He indicated it would take three weeks for the asphalt to settle before tests could be performed to ensure it met required standards. If the standards are met, final paving will be performed.

If all goes well with the planned work, Kraham said the courts could be opened in the fall.

FLASHBACK: Paving operations at the future tennis complex on April 28, 2021. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
FLASHBACK: Paving operations at the future tennis complex on April 28, 2021. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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The tennis court replacement project initially was expected to cost $600,000. The total cost now is expected to be nearly $1.9 million.

During a Wednesday meeting, Councilmember Joe Burns said "the cost has been increased by the mistakes made" on the project.

For decades, Recreation Park has been the site of a professional tennis tournament. The event was last held in 2019.

This story has been updated to include Mayor Kraham's clarification that the city will not pay more for errors caused by other parties involved in the project.

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com or (607) 545-2250. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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