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P&R board discusses tennis courts – Issue likely to be on future agendas

By Staff | Jan 16, 2008

ESTHERVILLE–New tennis court construction or improvements will be put on the back burner in Estherville for the near future, according to city parks and recreation department director Dave Spurgin.

The reason: City budget cuts.

He informed the parks and rec board of the issue at its meeting Monday.

Spurgin said when he took his board’s budget request to the city finance committee, that board informed him that budgets across the line will be getting less for fiscal year 2008-09.

He added the cut in the parks and rec department budget will come in the form of less money going into the board’s tennis court construction/improvement fund.

Instead of $25,000, which has been funneled into the fund for the last few years, the city is eyeing only giving the department $10,000 for the next fiscal year.

“The drop to $10,000 means no new tennis court construction in the near future,” Spurgin told his board.

He added the board needs to decide, at some point, how many tennis courts the city needs. The issue could come down to having to find partners in building new or improving existing courts.

Spurgin also specially noted the Riverside tennis courts south of the municipal swimming pool which possibly could be in need of improvements at some point in the future.

“This will be something this board will need to look at in the near future,” he said.

Spurgin also informed the board that the lights donated to the city from the Estherville Lincoln Central School District will be installed at the Thoreson III baseball diamond.

That donation, he added, is “just a great example of the school and city working together for the benefit of the community.”

However, they don’t come without a price.

“That being said, the free lights aren’t going to be free,” Spurgin said.

Turning back to the budget, he told board members it will cost at least $4,000 to make the lights operable. With board chairman Wayne King’s permission, Spurgin took $5,000 off the board’s request for tennis court construction to cover the cost of that project.

Otherwise, those were the only two changes to the board’s budget request than previously had been discussed.

The total parks and recreation capital improvements budget request for fiscal year 2008-09 is $35,000.

In other business, board members:

n Approved offering the Adopt-A-Park program for another year for the city’s neighborhood parks and decided to include Jensen Park in the list of parks to be adopted.

n Heard an update on the parks and rec department’s winter programming, including winter tennis at the Christensen Building in Estherville and a planned bus trip to Mount Kato in Mankato, Minn., for Friday, Jan. 25. For more information, contact the parks and rec department office at (712) 362-3575.

n Were informed of two donations from GKN in Armstrong that will go toward a proposed city walking trail. The department received $5,000 from GKN’s corporation and will receive another $1,500 in local GKN donations.

Contact Nathan Christophel at (712) 362-2622 or editor@esthervilledailynews.com and visit our photo sharing Web site at cu.esthervilledailynews.com