Call to Order: President Dolly Robinson called the meeting to order at 5:33 PM. Those in attendance included Dolly Robinson, Glenn Hunter, Joe Hinkle, James Montgomery, Linda Williams, Laura Hunter-Null, Marcia Kazmierski, Laura Hunter, George English (USTA representative) and Mike Null.
Approval of Minutes: Motion by G. Hunter to approve the minutes of the regular meeting held on Feb. 13, 2017; seconded by J. Hinkle; motion carried unanimously.
The wrong draft of minutes for the annual meeting were previously distributed; the Secretary verbally identified the omissions in the written copy distributed (corrected copies to be redistributed following the meeting). M. Kazmierski made the motion to approve with those corrections; seconded by L. Williams; motion carried unanimously.
New Business: G. Hunter informed those in attendance that Anjan Viplav of Tennis Forever Academy had entered into a contract for the purchase of 23 acres of property between the Southside Recreation Complex and the Episcopal Church for the purpose of developing a private tennis academy complex. It was noted that with the development of a large private tennis academy for teaching young aspiring tennis students, including international students, with them engaging in tournaments throughout Florida only further enhances and supports the efforts of the LCCCTA for the development of a large public tennis facility within our county. Mr. Hunter indicated the contract had not yet been finalized, but looked promising.
President Robinson announced that CTA member J. Lear’s daughter, Cassidy, has just been accepted by Eckerd College on a tennis scholarship starting next fall.
President Robinson asked M. Null to share with the CTA regarding the grant opportunity through the Youth Tennis Foundation of Florida. Communication had been received from Pierce Kelley, Director and former President of the Foundation that our organization could apply for a grant that would be targeted for youth tennis in our county. President Robinson then recommended that the LCCCTA consider submitting an application for the purpose of establishing a Summer Youth Tennis Camp as was done by J. Montgomery for generations of youth in our community staring back in the 1960’s. She would like to honor Mr. Montgomery by naming it the “Montgomery Summer Tennis Youth Camp”. She is suggesting the grant, if funded, would be for paying an instructor for the camp and for additional supplies, such as tennis balls, making the camp open and free to the youth. L. Williams will discuss with City recreation about access and reserving a tennis court for the camp and if there would be any expense. L. Williams will also discuss with the Girls’ Club and Boys’ Club directors about the availability of their participants during the summer camp. D. Robinson will discuss estimates of coaching costs with prospective coaches such as Tom Moore. Motion by G. Hunter, seconded by L. Williams, to gather information regarding the possibility of hosting a summer camp and to submit a grant application to the Youth Tennis Foundation of Florida.
Old Business: President Robinson and M. Null brought the CTA up to date on the status of the TDC’s Sports Tourism Strategic Plan. Both attended the TDC workshops presented by Huddle Up Group held on Feb 23rd and Feb 24th respectively. The Strategic Plans are still in the fact-finding stage and are expected to be complete some time in April. Based upon the comments by the presenters, it is expected that the plan will address tennis facilities to some degree. Designated members of the LCCCTA had been asked by the TDC Director to provide input to the representatives of Huddle Up Group regarding the CTA’s goal of establishing a public tennis complex for the purpose of being included in the strategic plan. President Robinson expressed gratitude to the TDC for opportunity to be included in the plan.
President Robinson called on M. Null to report on the meeting held at Teen Town on Feb. 15th with City Recreation Dept representatives to review plans for the construction of tennis courts in or near Young’s Park. M. Null reported that LCCCTA members in attendance included President Robinson, J. Montgomery, J. Hinkle and M. Null along with Terry Phillips and Heyward Christie of the City of Lake City. The LCCCTA has recommended the construction of new courts located at Memorial Stadium immediately north of the racket ball courts in order to utilize the back wall of the racket ball courts as a hitting/practice wall for tennis. It was also stressed that the City should construct a minimum of 3 courts, with a preference of 4, in order to accommodate any type of league play. Members reminded the City representatives that there had been an inventory of 6 tennis courts in the City, now it is down to 2 (in terrible condition). It was discussed that the condition of the 2 remaining courts are in such poor condition that the cost to restore would be close to the construction of new courts. The current courts could be returned to green space within the park once the new courts are constructed. It was also recommended that the new courts be coated with the standard green color coating. M. Null is reviewing “piggyback” bids from other entities that the City of Lake City could consider using. It was also reported that currently the City has appropriated $100,000 in the current FY budget for tennis court construction, and while this would not be sufficient to construct 3 or 4 courts, the LCCCTA is hopeful the City can find sufficient funds within the contingency or include additional funding into next FY budget sufficient for constructing preferably 4 courts. The City will be reminded to make application to the USTA for funding assistance for the construction of the courts. (Note: G. English of the USTA would be glad to meet with City representatives during one of his trips between Tallahassee and Gainesville).
Treasurer’s Report: J. Hinkle reported that the bank balance is $830.80 with one outstanding check just issued in the amount of $61.25 for the filing of the 2016 Annual Report (it was noted that the 2017 Annual Report will be filed soon with similar costs).
Other Business: M. Null reminded the members that Anjan Viplav of Tennis Forever Academy wishes to hosts more social events. It was pointed out that since he is now in pursuit of property for constructing a larger academy, that his time may not permit monthly socials. A member suggested that Sunday afternoons would be a more suited day of the week for such socials if that could be hosted by Tennis Forever. M. Null will discuss further with Mr. Viplav.
George English of the USTA announced that the USTA has a link on their web site for the purpose of conducting background screening for volunteers; this is a free service. Mr. English would also like to know if the LCCCTA plans to host any adult leagues in the near future. There will be more contacts made on this issue.
President Robinson announced that the next meeting of the LCCCTA will be held April 10, 2017.
With no further business, the meeting adjourned at 6:51 PM.