Project timeline prompts frustration

Brendan Heidner Ranger-review Staff
Sunday, April 24, 2022
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A replacement project for the basketball court at Lloyd Square Park has caused frustration among family members of Dennis Harrison, who made a large donation for the project in his memory. Ranger-Review file photo

A local family continues to express their frustrations to the Glendive City Council as an effort to reconstruct a decaying basketball court in Lloyd Square Park to memorialize their father has gone on for too long. However, city officials say due process has prolonged the project until recently.

The family of the late Dennis Harrison donated $15,000 to the City of Glendive in May of last year to refurbish the Lloyd Square Park basketball court in his memory.

According to a report in the Oct. 21, 2021 issue of the Ranger-Review, initial frustrations arose after no progress on the project was made by a scheduled celebration of life for Harrison just a few weeks earlier.

Lance Harrison, a son of Dennis, shared his feelings at the meeting of the Glendive City Council on Tuesday, April 19.

“In October (of 2021), it has been documented in the Ranger-Review that ground would be broken in April, if not sooner, weather permitting,” Harrison said.

Director of Public Works Frank Ceane noted due process has also kept the project in limbo until a bid was approved at Tuesday’s meeting.

The quote from Baker Construction is $41,240 for a 55 by 88 foot slab of concrete. The concrete surface area, Ceane noted, will be large enough to paint a high school regulationsized basketball court with an extra two feet around the perimeter to allow for future additions such as bleachers.

Once the Harrison family’s donation is factored in, the City of Glendive picked up the $26,240 remaining out of its park maintenance and improvements budget, according to Ceane.

“You have to wait for city funds to be approved and it has to go through the city (government) process to do it, so that’s going to take time,” Ceane said. “That stuff does not happen overnight.”

Along with waiting on City Council’s approval to move forward with the project, Ceane noted the weather has also not provided ideal conditions to pour concrete.

“I’m looking for the end result and if it takes a month or two longer to do it right, I apologize for the inconvenience, but some of that’s out of my control,” Ceane said, adding he is in contact with Baker Construction as they look at breaking ground as soon as the conditions of the weather allow. “We’re putting a basketball court in there that’s going to be a major upgrade and that’s kind of how I look at things, we do it once, we do it right.”

Although frustrated, Harrison noted his family is still excited to see the new basketball court as a significant memorial to his father and the enjoyment it will bring for the citizens of Glendive.

“I don’t want this project and the drama associated with it to tarnish its true intention which was to memorialize our dad appropriately,” Harrison said. “We will be happy to see the finished project and it will be a great addition to Lloyd Square Park for the community to enjoy.”

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