Baldwyn tennis courts could see renovation

Grant would help fund those repairs plus new bathroom facility

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Baldwyn’s tennis courts at Latimer Park, which have fallen into disrepair, could see new life if the city’s grant application for recreational improvements is successful. Grant funds would also be used to build a new restroom facility at the park. News photo/Jason Collum

Baldwyn | The best days may not yet be behind Baldwyn’s tennis courts.

After hearing in February from area residents concerned about the declining condition of the city’s courts at Latimer Park, the City of Baldwyn is applying for a Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant (LWCF) to help rehabilitate the courts as well as build a new restroom facility at the baseball park.

The city had been entertaining quotes and plans on the new restroom facility, which Park and Rec director Shane Raines had said was badly needed in order to replace limited facilities that were not capable of supporting future baseball or softball tournaments. The Board of Alderman has received two sets of plans, with costing more than expected but which would allow the facility to also serve as a save room in the event of storms.

In February, Jeff Nelson spoke with the Board about the need to update the courts.

“Right now, the surface is not playable for tournaments and barely playable for regular games,” Nelson said. He told the board the work needed on resurfacing, plus shrubbery and new wind screens, could cost around $18,000. Mayor Michael James asked whether tennis tournaments could help bring in revenue to offset up to half the costs, but Nelson said they couldn’t likely offset much at all. The sales tax revenues from those visiting the city and area businesses, though, would have an impact, he said.

According to the city, a LWCF grant is funded, in part, by Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and is a 50/50 reimbursable grant that is offered to cities and counties responsible for providing public recreational services that are eligible for funding. It is not yet known when such a grant could be awarded or how long it would take to make the needed repairs.