Plea: Tennis club members stand behind driving force; community members Don and Pam Green, Tennis Club Vice President Ryan Varga and member Pauline Merritt.Tailem Bend Tennis Club members are beggingthe Coorong District Council to fix their clubhouse rather than demolish itit.
It was declared unsafe for use last year after awhite ant problem was found,which has attacked the floorboards of the building making it unsafe to stand on,there are also concerns of asbestos.
The Coorong District Council own the land that the tennis club use and on July 19, the council made a decision to vary terms of the lease at the Tailem Bend Tennis Club to include demolition and removal of the clubhouse.
Members of the tennis club understand there is a possibility that their club and facilities will be moved to create a combined multi-sport facility at Jaensch Park where the netball club,football club and cricket clubare currently located.
They have come to terms with this move and are excited by itbut are now pleading to be able to use their current facilities until the move happens, which they understand does not have an official date but could take up to about seven years.
Devastated at the possibility of losing their clubhouse, they have started a petition to the Mayor and Councillors to reverse their decision to demolish the clubhouse.
Vice President of the Tailem Bend Tennis Club Ryan Varga said it would be ideal to keep the use ofthese facilitiesuntil the move.
“It’s like when you sell a house, you don’t sell it until you have a new one to live in,” he said.
Members are worried that if their club is forced to stop for the time being, they will struggle to get it going again once the move occurs.
Recently joined member of the Tailem Bend Tennis Club, Pauline Merritt does not want to see their clubhouse demolished is involved in the petition which has gained more than 400 signatures in five days.
“We are hoping to reverse the council’s decision to knock down our clubhouse until they can relocate us in the new complex,” she said.
“I feel that the councilors that voted unanimously have been misinformed.”.
“Everyone is looking forward to having a new venue, but in the meantime we just want to have a place to stay,” Ms Merritt said.
“This is an important venue for the aged and especially our youth to have,” she said.
More then 50 names use the tennis club facilities and about 20-25 extras travel from across the Murraylands to participate in the Senior’s competition on Tuesdays.
Although it may not be a modern facility with mis-matched chairs and crockery, members would enjoy a cup ofcoffee together to make the sport more social.
“If this closes, tennis will stop, it is at least five to seven years before the new venue is ready.”
“Once something stops, it will not get started up again,” Ms Merritt said.
Members of the tennis club understand that $5000 has been set aside for the demolition of the clubhouse and whatever money is left over will be used to build a storage shed.
“The building has a floor that needs fixing and this can be done for about $2000 and to knock it down will cost ratepayers a lot more,” Ms Merritt said.
Mayor of the Coorong District Council Neville Jaensch said the council feelsvery deeply for the club, but their obligation is safety.
“The council, I believe has just finished getting the asbestos issue report,” he said.
“We have an obligation for safety and we treat it very seriously.”
Mayor Jaensch said the council will revisit the situation and is open to discussion with the tennis club and the community.
“There may be a chance that theclubhouse does get fixed but it will be dependent on the asbestos report and the cost it will take to bring it back to safety,” he said.
Mayor Jaensch said the move of the the tennis club is in very early stages and they are in discussion with the various sporting clubs where all clubs need to have an equal say.
He said there is no specific timeline of the move at this stage.
“We feel it would be to the best outcome to have upgraded facilities,” he said.
“We do not want to see the tennis club fail, there has never been a point where we want that to happen.”
“We just have a responsibility to the community for their safety,” he said.
Tailem Bend Football Club President Terry Connolly said he would have no issue if the tennis club were to move to the grounds, but it would have to be their decision.
“We will be more than happy to sit down with the tennis club and the Coorong Council if the move goes ahead, to best accommodate them.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.