Town should sell underused tennis courts

Lack of activity and repair needs makes case for Hilton Head Town Council to sell the Cordillo Parkway courts.

info@islandpacket.comFebruary 19, 2014 

Public tennis courts can be a great asset -- if they're well-maintained and regularly used by the community.

That's not the case with the town's public tennis courts on Cordillo Parkway.

Five years have passed since the Island Recreation Association last tried to schedule events at the tennis courts -- without success.

The courts' lack of restrooms, parking and space makes them unattractive venues for most tennis competitions.

And few in the community use the courts, aside from local organizations that host two college spring-break tennis events there each year.

Additionally, the town will soon need to pay between $75,000 to $100,000 to resurface the four lighted hard courts.

It would be illogical and a waste of taxpayer money to do so. We encourage Town Council to follow the recommendation of the Parks and Recreation Commission and vote to sell the courts to a pair of property owners associations, the Cordillo Courts II Property Owners Association and The Hedges Property Owners Association. The associations plan to use them as tennis amenities for their residents.

A price has yet to be discussed. The courts, the first ever owned by the town, were purchased from tennis instructor Dennis Van der Meer in 2002 for $250,000. Given the courts' repair needs, the town is unlikely to recoup its investment. But here's hoping the town sets a fair price and receives enough money to make a dent in its other recreational needs. One possibility would be to help pay for the $6 million in planned improvements at the much-used Island Recreation Center.

Meanwhile, those seeking a free place to play still have options. Six public courts are at Chaplin Community Park. And Hilton Head Island High School's courts are open to the public. Beaufort County also maintains two courts at Hilton Head Park on the north end.

Ideally, courts on the south end would get lots of use. But that just isn't the case. It's time to sell and move on.

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