Recreation officials in Charlotte say the $30,000 voters approved on Town Meeting Day for the Recreation Reserve Fund for the purpose of improvements to the three cracking town tennis courts this season.
Recreation Commission Chair Bill Fraser-Harris said the recreation department’s funding is largely used for tennis court and beach maintenance.
The public tennis courts behind the parking lot of the Charlotte Beach are in considerable disrepair. Fraser-Harris said that he believes the first court is actually dangerous. Large cracks run across the surface, and pieces of it are coming loose in chunks.
The courts are in need of re-foundation, an expensive proposition that would cost Charlotters approximately $190,000. The foundation is flawed, and drainage is an issue, Fraser-Harris said.
“No matter what we do superficially, they will continue to crack, so this is actually a method by which we hope to save enough money over the course of years to actually replace the surface and improve the drainage, so we don’t have continual ongoing cracking every year, and repairs every year,” he said.
For now, it might be less expensive to continue to repair the courts on a yearly basis than lay out the cash for a whole new foundation and surface. “It’s a paradox: we need to maintain and/or improve what we have, because more people want to use it, if we don’t do it, then people won’t come,” Fraser-Harris said.
The Recreation Commission currently has about $170,00 including the new $30,000, in its account, but that money could be used for other necessary expenses around the beach area, including new playground equipment, given the age and condition of the current play structure.
For now, the courts will be repaired as soon as the weather warms up. It requires consecutive 70- to 75-degree days for the crack repairs to set. May 19 is scheduled as a work day around the beach area.