City deletes tennis courts

Several Oak Harbor residents have noticed — and complained — that tennis courts are slowly disappearing from City Beach Park.

However, it’s not the work of vandals or asphalt thieves. The city is permanently doing away with the troublesome courts in order to expand a Little League baseball field.

The City Council approved the demolition of the blactop courts at the Sept. 2 meeting. The Parks Board also recommended getting rid of the courts.

City Parks Director Hank Nydam said the tennis courts “were in extremely poor shape.” He said there was a continual problem with sea gulls dropping clam shells and other unmentionable substances on the seaside courts. Also, the wind and the lack of space in the area made it a less-than-ideal place to play tennis.

There are currently three Little League fields adjacent to the tennis courts, but Nydam said one of them is about 100 feet short. That means it can’t be used for tournaments. The only way to expand the field is into the tennis courts.

Last Saturday, chief petty officer selectees from Whidbey Island Naval Air Station helped the city staff rip up asphalt at the tennis courts as part of their community service project. Nydam said the fencing and posts have been removed, so all that’s left is to haul away the rest of the asphalt.

According to Nydam, the Little League association has agreed to partner with the city to expand the field. He said the city and Little League will split the estimated $40,000 cost of the project.

Fortunately for tennis players, the city has plans for at least three more tennis courts in the future. There will be a court built at Fort Nugent Park and four new courts at the regional sports field planned for the city’s old landfill site.

Nydam said the expanded Little League field should be ready next summer.

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