Blue Earth citizens concerned about tennis courts

BLUE EARTH — Discussion of several topics dealing with recreational facilities in the city took up much of the time of the Blue Earth City Council meeting on Monday evening, June 7.

A group of citizens, including both adults and kids, attended the meeting and spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting concerning plans for the tennis courts in the city.

The group expressed concern that the tennis courts in Putnam Park might be removed due to their poor condition.

Allan Hansen, who coaches younger kids’ tennis, Stacey Haase and Tina Prescher all spoke about the courts being used by youth and families.

Mayor Rick Scholtes told the group the city is looking at building eight new courts at the high school in partnership with the school.

“We have a committee looking into this,” Scholtes said. “We will probably still have something at Putnam Park, which could be a couple of tennis courts, or pickleball and basketball courts, as well.”

Scholtes said the city was told three years ago the current six courts would only last for three years, so the city has been working on plans to replace the courts.

Refurbishing the current courts could cost as much as $346,000. The cost of eight new courts was estimated to be $800,000 or more, but Scholtes said the committee needs to get exact cost numbers in the next 60 to 90 days.

David Kittleson gave a report on another recreational area project underway which is a single track bike trail.

Kittleson said the track is being constructed along the Blue Earth River on the north side of Leland Parkway, from near the rest stop area to Main Street.

The track, which is 1.8 miles long, winds back and forth along the river and is situated on some private land as well as city-owned land.

Council members and Kittleson spent some time discussing liability issues and concerns, but no decisions were made at the meeting. City staff will study the matter further.

In other business at Monday night’s meeting, the council:

— Revisited the city’s dog ordinance and voted to make some changes to it. The council raised the number of dogs permitted in a household from two to three.

Any more than three dogs in a household is considered having a kennel and kennels are not allowed in the city limits, according to the ordinance.

— Heard a report from the city engineer, Wes Brown of Bolton and Menk. Brown reported on the progress of the various street projects in the city, the Safe Routes to Schools project and a change order needed for work on the 2020 Sailor Street project wrap up.

Brown also reported a grant application for possible street work on Giant Drive and another on Rice Street were both not approved for funding by the state at this time.


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