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Save Public Tennis at Las Positas!
updated: Oct 16, 2012, 8:09 PM
By Tim Schroeter
In the more than thirty years since they were built, the six tennis courts at Las Positas have emerged as the most popular and most utilized of the public courts operated by the city of Santa Barbara. They are particularly prized by the entire Santa Barbara tennis community for the afternoon pick up games that take place there most afternoons and that welcome and encourage all levels of play in an informal social setting.
Because of a operating loss of a few thousand dollars a year, these public courts were leased to Eilings Park for $1/year more than a year ago at the recommendation of the Parks and Recreation Department. A year into the 18 year lease, Eilings Park management recently decided to raise the annual use fee from $150 to $820 and the daily use fee from $5 to $40. Half of the increased fees will go to Oceanside Tennis Academy, a private company that Eilings Park has contracted with to 'manage' the courts.
It would be a shame for the community to lose these public courts to private interests that hope to turn their $1/year lease of this prime public facility into a revenue center that generates hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
Since Elings Park management has shown little interest in honoring the spirit of the $1/year lease that encourages reasonable fees and support of informal drop in play, the tennis community at Las Positas is proposing alternative management to operate the Las Positas courts as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of low cost affordable recreational tennis for the Santa Barbara community.
I encourage Edhat readers to visit the website www.laspositastennis.com to learn more about this issue and sign the iPetition to support the effort to save the Las Positas Public Courts!
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