Second break for tennis courts

 

The Morrisburg tennis courts have received a second reprieve that will see them left as is until at least spring.

A group of a dozen volunteers have organized themselves in an effort to save the tennis courts in Morrisburg.

The delegation attended the Oct 2 council meeting to discuss the courts’ issues and potential actions to keep the courts in Morrisburg.

“All of our children use or have used the tennis courts while growing up, and we would like to see this valuable facility remain available for future generations,” said Martin Streit, who spoke on behalf of the organization. “We believe that the township should invest its resources in the improvement of the condition and accessibility of the courts, not their demolition.”

“Despite their current limitations, the courts are used by local residents and by Morriburg Public School students during recess and physical education classes,” said Streit. The school’s tennis club has about 50 members.

The tennis courts are located on lands owned by the Upper Canada District School Board and Chartwell, and the group recognizes the complications that this ownership situation causes for the municipality.

“The courts are owned by UCDSB and Chartwell: Their interests in the properties are paramount and will affect the future of the courts and all actions recommended,” said Streit.

Nonetheless, the group has ideas to improve the condition, public access and use of the courts.

Condition-wise a volunteer has weeded the courts and the group is looking to find a way to repair the cracks with a long term view to resurfacing.

They are looking at ways to allow the public to more easily access a key for the locked courts and to increase public awareness and use of the facility.

“We are volunteers and we are willing to give our time to help, but we need township support and assistance to make this work,” said Streit.

“Obviously the tennis courts are getting more use than we thought they were,” commented South Dundas councillor Jim Graham, who recognized that the issue of not having a key readily available obviously deters more use and has to be changed immediately.

“Underlying this whole issue, is the issue of where Chartwell stands,” said South Dundas councillor Evonne Delegarde, pointing out that the first step has to be hearing from Chartwell. What she would like to see is the school take over the courts “If the school was willing to take over and run the facility, I’d support that,” she said.

South Dundas councillor Archie Mellan said that the municipality will need to see a long term commitment for use of the property from Chartwell before they could justify any large investment in the courts. However, he suggested that if Chartwell does not want to make a long term commitment, perhaps the municipality could look into fixing up one good court on the UCDSB property.

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