B.E. Council Discusses Tennis Court Financing and Proposed Putnam Park Project

Monday night the Blue Earth City Council held their regular meeting and upcoming development projects were the hot topic for the evening.

The massive tennis court project, which will see 8 courts built, is slated for the Blue Earth Area High School this year.  However, if an agreement can’t be reached with financing between the School District and the city, there’s a possibility they may miss the window for 2023 construction.

The city has agreed to pitch in their own investment into the project and will see that the project is financed.  In return, the city will have part ownership of the courts, opening them up to public use.  The school will then make regular payments on the loan over the next 15 years to pay off the courts.

The disagreement at this time is in regards to how much the school district feels the city should pay for their share of the project.  A volley has been going with differing percentages, however, Monday night it was proposed that the council would offer a flat dollar amount and what the school does beyond that is up to them.

It is hoped that over the next two weeks, and agreement will be met to allow the project to get underway.

In regards to other projects, a massive public project is currently in the works to revamp and build upon Putnam Park. An $800,000 park plan has been reviewed and the city has already begun to seek state grants to help get the project off the ground.  In 2024, the city aims to tear down the old tennis courts, since the new courts will be open at the High School by that time, and build tennis courts, basketball courts, pickle ball courts and possibly a skate park.

Councilman John Juisman brought up the idea that there’s a decent amount of youth in the area that aren’t interested in organized sports and maybe would prefer an outlet that’s more geared toward them.  Huisman suggests that a skate park, utilized for skateboarding, rollerblading, scooters, etc., would be a good way to make sure that all groups of youth are given an opportunity to enjoy activities at the new proposed park.