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Newsroom :: Waste Watch  - Tennis Courts Resurfaced By Taxpayers

Tennis Courts Resurfaced By Taxpayers

Chattanooga City Council members approved $66,000 to be spent on resurfacing the Bob Elmore tennis courts in the East Brainerd. But is that money well-spent? We spoke with some tennis players today who say the courts don't need it, and it's too much to spend right now.
Boo Mullinax plays tennis at the Bob Elmore Memorial Tennis Courts three or four times a week.
When we told her the city was about to spend $66,000 on resurfacing the courts, she was surprised."The court surface itself really isn't that bad. There's a little unevenness on some of the courts, but overall, they're good," said Mullinax.
Mullinax doesn't belong to any private tennis centers because she says they cost too much. She says at public courts like this, she expects things like a few broken benches and grass poking through some cracks.
Brian Smith with the city's Parks and Recreation Department says the problems need to be fixed sooner rather than later.
"If you keep going in and patching it here, patching it there, eventually you'll have to do the entire complex and it would end up costing 4, 5, 6 times the amount we're paying for it now. You're talking about ripping up the entire cement foundation and putting everything back on that.," said Smith.
Smith says his department chose the lowest bid of at least 3 contractors. After doing some research, we found the average cost of hiring a contractor to resurface one court is between $5,000 and $15,000 dollars. There are 11 courts at Brainerd High. That means this contract is on the low end of average.
"It gets heavy use, and that's why we chose to do brainerd tennis courts right now instead of other courts that maybe don't get as much use. So we're not just randomly picking tennis courts, we're choosing the ones that are heavily used to make sure they are safe and obviously well-maintained," said Smith.
Smith encourages tennis players and the community to visit their facebook page to voice concerns over where taxpayer money is going. You can also call his office or attend any public meetings they hold.
The city plans to begin resurfacing in mid-August. Smith says they'll work on one court at a time, and the facility will remain open.

By Natalie Jenereski
Tennis Courts Resurfaced By Taxpayers

Sunday, August 4 2013, 12:11 PM EDT

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