VERO BEACH – Players at the Riverside Park Tennis Complex have no interest in the United States Tennis Association’s Florida branch overseeing their court. They also make known the Kingdom Hall.
The unpaid members have offered a three-year management contract to the city,
USTA-FL approached Vero Beach about signing a contract with the court-governing body, saving the city about $ 55,000 a year, usually as a reward, according to the Monte Falls city manager. It will be paid for by annual pass, now $ 250 for city residents, at USTA-FL immediately.
This organization may also take over the management of the facility, including court repairs and other repairs.
“We are trying to find a way to promote the use of resources and other utility programs,” Falls told the council Tuesday. “USTA contacted us. They are working to promote tennis; this is the Florida branch, so Florida is their area of operation.”
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USTA-FL also operates community tennis facilities in Cocoa Beach, Fort Walton Beach and Gainesville. The three cities have provided Vero Beach officials with positive feedback on what USTA has done to them, Falls said.
“Our goal is to do more in the community serving and developing tennis, especially in public parks,” Laura Bowen, president of USTA-FL, told Entertainment Center Jan. 11. “We want to be your partner. And find out what will benefit you. We are not here to make money, we came here to develop the game.”
USTA-FL will not pay the city to manage the Riverside Park court.
Bowen did not respond to a call for comment.
Still, some Riverside Park tennis players are outraged by the idea, preferring the court to remain under the control of the Department of Recreation and its staff. The city employs one full-time construction manager, two or three part-time employees and several tennis players who have a contract to rent a court to provide training.
City Council on Tuesday filed a petition signed by more than 100 tennis players, in violation of any agreement with USTA-FL. In addition, more than 30 letters, many contradicting the proposed administrative arrangements, were sent to City Council members, according to city secretary Tammy Bursick.
While there is nothing wrong with USTA-FL, Vero Beach resident Carla Prendamano said, it is not a good fit for Vero Beach. He said he was surprised that no one in the city asked the tennis players for their opinion.
Prendamano said, “No one came to us, the players there.” No one told us about USTA-FL. We are the backbone of Riverside Park. “
Some players are concerned that the cost will increase under the regulation but, Falls explained, additional fees will be charged for each new program added by USTA. Also, any new financial system would require OK of the City Council.
However, not every tennis player is against the idea. Vero Beach resident Michaele Gibbons told the council he wanted to hear more about the USTA-FL plan.
“I do not understand why some people in the Recreation Department and Council City are trying to close this system before we have an initial plan,” Gibbons said in an email to the council. “I think Vero Beach taxpayers and taxpayers have the right to hear a strong message, which is true about this matter, not just rumors, lies and misinformation of some people. spread out in the camp. “
Entertainment director Jim O’Connell said he and Falls will continue to work with USTA-FL representatives to develop a management contract system that he will introduce to the council. He wants USTA-FL delegates to be present at future meetings to answer questions from the public.
“This will get more work from us, so we will continue to work with USTA-FL,” O’Connell said. “USTA-FL is in a position to provide programs and programs for which we have no staff. We will strive to coordinate what local councils can say yes or no.
This is not the first time Riverside Park tennis courts have been the subject of controversy. City councilors last summer rejected plans from Pickleball University to convert three of the campus’s tennis courts into ten pickleball stadiums. Neighbors have expressed concern that noise from pickleball balls will disturb residents in the area.
Janet Begley is a freelance copywriter for TCPalm.com. If you would like a story like this and other TCPalm coverage of the Treasure Coast report, please subscribe to our newsletter and sign up now.