CROSSLAKE -- With tennis play a growing part of Crosslake's recreation, the city's parks commission recommended the addition of a fourth court and replacement of the three existing courts.
Lance Moberg, Crosslake resident and volunteer coordinator of the senior league program, was instrumental in getting the senior tennis program started. Moberg said there is pent-up demand and having organized play, where single players know they will be able to fit into a doubles match, helps bring people out to the park.
"We welcome anyone who is willing to play," Moberg said. "If we had six courts we'd fill them with seniors."
With three courts, 12 people can be playing in doubles matches at any one time. The odd number of courts makes it difficult to organize tournaments. The parks department provides the tennis balls and charges $10 for league players. The league mixer play allows flexibility for players who may not be able to attend every week.
Jon Henke, Crosslake parks and recreation director, said the United States Tennis Association has grant money, up to $20,000, to help with the construction of a court, but requires a minimum of four courts for eligibility. Henke said in order for Crosslake to be eligible they would have to plan for the additional court, which the grant money is expected to pay for. The city would have to cover the cost of replacing the three existing courts, which were built in the early 1970s. There are cracks on the courts. Court reconstruction would cost about $20,000 to $25,000 per court, Henke said.
Court replacement has been a discussion item at city council budget talks, which resume Wednesday.
Henke has looked at turf courts as an option. The surface would be softer for players but would play a bit slower than the hard courts available now. Other additions could be a shade feature over benches in the middle of the courts and a water fountain.
Henke said if the courts were replaced with new versions play may increase. He said they saw that response after putting in a new gym where basketball play increased dramatically.
"This is a good avenue for them to meet people," Henke said of community newcomers. "It's more than the tennis."
RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
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