Raise player fees to raise funds; Third bridge is the only solution
Raise player fees to raise funds
The plea for additional town financial aid to the Longboat Key Public Tennis Center recently reported in the Longboat Observer ignores the fact that the center is a membership facility where the members pay to play. If more money is needed to maintain the facility, an increase of $25 to $50 per member should yield enough to fund it without relying on the charity of the Friends of Tennis or the town’s assistance. Since Friends of Tennis President David Gutridge reports that the facility turned away many prospective players last season, a small bump in the price for those who do play should be readily accepted.
Comparing the tennis center to the beaches is invalid since public use of the beaches is free. A better comparison is between the Tennis Center and other pay-to-play clubs like Cedars or the Longboat Key Club. They receive no town assistance, athough like the tennis center, they attract visitors and some LBK residents.
Third bridge is the only solution
As Longboat Key owners for 13 years and soon-to-be full-time residents, we have seen traffic become unmanageable, especially through LBK during the season going both north and south. Even during nonseason, in case of a hurricane, people on the island will not be able to get off, and a disaster is not only predictable but probable. The only resolution is a bridge possibly between what I believe is city-owned land right behind the QUIK N EZ in the middle of LBK and the mainland.
An example of such a bridge is the one that connects Sanibel and Fort Myers. It is a toll bridge that is free to residents and (costs) a small fee to others. Not only would it mitigate both ever-worsening seasonal and emergency traffic but would be at least be partly financed by users. We cannot allow this serious issue to go unaddressed. It is inevitable we will pay in dollars now or disaster later.
Stuart Sinai and Carole Shaw
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