By ANDREA CUNNINGHAM
Many thanks and congratulations to David Rutherford and Nicola Winch for organizing and holding the annual Los Alamos Tennis Tournament! It was a great success with 50 players signing up to play, from beginners to semi-professionals (including several of the top players in the state) and ages from high school to retirees! It was exciting to watch these high-level competitors and a wonderful experience. We are lucky to have such a vibrant tennis community in our small town!
As the COVID pandemic started, tennis topped the CDC list of the safest sports activities and the use of the community tennis courts increased dramatically during weekends and evenings. Everyone from folks out having fun and getting some exercise to families giving lessons to their children flocked to the courts, many more than just those who compete in tournaments.
Unfortunately, the wonderful resource we have in our community tennis courts are not being maintained. Most courts, except for Urban and those by the high school (which were resurfaced by the schools even though they are County courts), have been allowed to fall into disrepair. Some courts have so much cracking, bubbling, and missing patches of surface that they are a safety hazard and fall risk. For that reason and because they are the only courts in Los Alamos that have lights for evening use (the busiest times aside from weekends), the Urban Park courts often have people waiting to use them during peak times.
Although I understand that budgets are restricted within the County, it does seem that some of the funds can be used for the upkeep and desperately needed maintenance of resources we already have. As we look at the hundreds of thousands of dollars that have been spent on non-essential items like branding, commuter airline subsidies, and even the $25,000 cost for the decal in the middle of Central Avenue, doesn’t it make sense to invest in maintenance for our existing recreational infrastructure?
Our community is known and loved for its outdoor and recreational amenities. We have invested heavily in our golf course and new clubhouse, the Walkup Center, Nature Center and many other wonderful recreational resources. County Council, please give maintaining our community tennis courts the same priority!