Wichita needs to spend about $500,000 to get its prime tennis courts repaired to avoid losing tournaments, the City Council agreed Tuesday.
"It's a quality-of-life issue," Park and Recreation Department Director Doug Kupper said.
The council voted 7-0 to use $250,000 out of the 2012 long-term budget for the project that will fix cracks, resurface courts and make other repairs at the facilities at Riverside, Edgemoor and McAdams parks. Another $250,000 had already been allotted for the work in the 2010 long-term budget.
Council member Sue Schlapp, who teaches tennis, said hosting the tournaments brings money to the city. But she said the city is at a crossroads in keeping the current sanctioned tournaments and attracting more.
"We need to fix (the courts) if we're going to look at the tournaments and get us back as one of the primary places in Kansas to hold tournaments," she said.
Kupper said the city would save money by doing the work now because of lower construction costs.
As soon as a current lighting project at the Riverside courts is completed, Kupper said, work would begin at the Ralph Wulz Riverside Tennis Center. Next up will be Edgemoor, followed by McAdams.
The three parks combined have 27 courts, including 10 outdoor and three indoor at Riverside.
Kupper said he hopes to have the work completed by early summer.