Proposal for paddle courts goes to selectmen
The Tokeneke Club, a private beach-front club, has pitched moving their four current paddle tennis courts to Weed Beach.
“We currently have our own paddle courts that we use at Ox Ridge (Hunt Club) and we’re going to have them for the whole season,” said Alan Dutton, general manager for the Tokeneke Club.
The town’s ability to reserve at least one of the courts, was a topic of conversation at a recent Parks and Recreation Commission meeting. The club would potentially have to pay a fee of $20,000 every year to lease the land.
The season for paddle tennis has started and typically runs until March, he said. A regulation paddle court is 50 feet long and 20 feet wide.
“As you know Ox Ridge is doing major renovations over there. They’re putting in a whole new clubhouse,” he said. “The question is what do we do with our paddle courts?”
Dutton said once an agreement is struck announcements will be made, but he doesn’t see this happening for another year.
According to minutes from a Sept. 19 Parks and Recreation meeting, the club had been renting space at Ox Ridge Hunt Club, but the agreement has now been terminated.
The minutes stated Scott Fritz, who presented the proposal, conveyed a willingness to potentially consider offering access to a second court. This would occur after the club’s reassessed the actual court usage after the first year.
The commission decided to suggest to the Board of Selectmen a length of time between 3-5 years for a termination clause in the contract. If the contract is agreed upon it will have to specifically mention the reassessment after the first year for whether the Town’s access to only one court is sufficient. The process of court maintenance and court during inclement weather will also have to be explicitly outlined according to the minutes.
Pamela Gery, the director of the Parks and Recreation Department, said there are examples of private and public partnerships around the country though Darien does not have one today.
Due to the proposal still being open and nothing being agreed upon yet she couldn’t discuss it much further, she said.
According to minutes from the Sept. 19 meeting, the commission voted unanimously to take the proposal to the Board of Selectmen.