Working with the government – whether local, state, or national – requires a tremendous amount of patience. Their wheels turn at a glacial speed while moving (plodding) through the hoops required when it comes to making major decisions.
WORKING WITH THE CITY
It seems we are down to one option for a new Plaza Racquet Club. Ruth Hardy Park. The City owns the land and building there would be more cost effective than any other option.
On April 21, we met with the Director of Economic Development and the Economic Development Administrator. Both of these women are straight shooters who were very helpful in describing the process and timeline that’s ahead of us.
Before the City Council is even asked to vote on allocating capital funds to build a new club, they need to have a solid picture of what costs are involved. To that end, we provided them with a profit and loss statement and bids from three vendors on the cost to build 10 courts with fencing, lighting, windscreens, water fountains, shade structures, and benches. Our bids did not include the pro shop, bathrooms, showers, walkways, landscaping, covered patio, soil reports, engineering, plans, specifications and permits. By now, you probably get the picture. It’s expensive.
Once all of the financial information needed is collected, the City Council will have a good picture of the budget implications for fiscal 2016-2017. Then they can put this to a vote.
At this point, the best guess is that a vote will take place at a June City Council meeting – either June 1 or 15. Agendas for these meetings are available on-line several days in advance of each meeting.
Assuming that the Council votes to move forward with constructing a new club, it will take 6-8 months for design, assessments, environmental review, proposals, bid collecting, reviews by committees and commissions, awarding bids, licensing, bonding and on and on and on. All this must happen before a shovel meets the dirt.
If everything goes smoothly and the agreement is to move forward, it will likely be at least 18 months before a new club is open for business.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE INTERIM
As you know, our lease is up on June 30. Because the closing of escrow has been delayed yet again, we have asked the school district for a lease extension. They have refused. Evidently, they sent a letter to the City several months ago informing them that there would be no lease extension, information no one ever shared with us.
Several of us plan to attend a school board meeting on April 26 to share our thoughts and request they reconsider a lease extension. Upcoming meetings, should you be interested in attending, are on May 10 and 24, June 14 and 28, July 26, and August 9 and 23. Meetings are held at 6 pm in the Board Room at 980 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way.
Kurt and Ana have worked hard to identify alternative locations where members, hotel guests and visitors can reap the rewards of quality game arrangement, excellent service and as much tennis as we want to play. To date, we’ve not come up with a viable option. Disappointing news for all of us.
Our apologies for not providing information on a more regular basis. It’s tough to write when so little movement takes place.