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Etown To Approve Tennis Courts

E'town to approve tennis court proposal
Marty Finley   News Enterprise     12-15-2011
Elizabethtown City Council on Monday is expected to choose a proposal that will further its promise to place new tennis courts at Freeman Lake Park.
Mayor Tim Walker on Thursday said the proposal expected to be approved will set a cap on the project not to exceed $1.3 million for design and construction of the courts. The company chosen will put together a team to complete the design and build the facilities, Walker said, an approach unusual for the city as it usually bids out design and construction as separate projects.
Five companies presented bids and were interviewed by a committee formed by the city to oversee the development of the tennis courts. Elizabethtown Planning Director Ed Poppe this week updated the council on the committee’s progress and said a recommendation would be forthcoming.
Walker said the city wants a minimum of eight courts, a parking area and a pavilion with restroom facilities to be part of the plan. But Walker and Poppe said the city may be able to add additional courts once the design is finished.
If there is enough cost savings, Walker added, the city may get 10 courts, which would allow them to host tennis tournaments at one location.
Walker said the city is declining to release the names of the companies that presented proposals until the city can send out a memo alerting each company of its preference.
“We feel we owe them all an answer,” he said.
The city has budgeted about $700,000 for the courts in its current budget, which will be enough to get the project started, Walker said. The city can allocate the additional funds to finish paying for the work in the 2012-13 budget, he added.
The city also is planning to approach the United States Tennis Association about a grant, which could offset some of the cost.
The city formed the committee after Bo O’Brien, chairman of the Elizabethtown Tennis Commission, approached the city lobbying for new courts. He told them the courts at American Legion Park and University Drive are showing wear and tournaments are hindered because the courts fall below regulation.
O’Brien this week addressed the council and said the courts are what they are most concerned about. He said they also will need a building on site.
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