Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Tennis Anyone

The tennis facility project that was used to promote the 1/2 cent sales tax was back on the council agenda today. The approved ballot language didn't specifically mention tennis, but many of the promotional materials such as this handout that was originally on the forsangelo website highlighted a 14 court tennis facility with pro shop. Up to $925,000 were suggested as a possible cost of the project, not including land purchases.

Early in the planning for this project a partnership with either ASU or SAISD was suggested as a way to get a better bang for the buck. This plan has a lot going for it. The main advantage is that the amount of money needed from the sales tax is reduced, and the money spent by the other partners would be better used then if they were not involved. Sounds good so far.

The only negative I see is that there could be some limitations on the proposed pro shop. It has been stated that a successful pro shop could cover a large part of the basic operations and maintenance expense the facility would have. Limitations on the pro shop could increase the long term expenses to the taxpayers. I hope that the final plan balances any initial savings with the long term expenses. The ideal situation is a tennis facility that needs no tax payer support once it is fully operational.

No matter your feelings about cities subsidizing sports facilities, the city did promise this to the voters. They need to keep their promises in the way that makes the most long term sense.

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