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Groups seeks to serve community

November 7, 2018

Cunningham Park improvements

In need of much repair or replacement a pair of tennis courts sit unused due to its neglected state at Cunningham Park in the heart of Mountain City. The Friends of Tennis, a local group is working on raising awareness in hopes of receiving local government and community support for an upgrade, replacement project . Photo by Tamas Mondovics.


By Tamas Mondovics

Members of the local group, Friends of Tennis Mountain City, have been working hard in an effort to restore a pair of tennis courts in the heart of town.

“Much support and encouragement have been offered by local citizens who recognize the value to children and families of a small friendly park and our only two public tennis courts,” said Friends of Tennis representative Paul Maulden as he talked about the group’s effort of the Cunningham Park Project, which includes the two Tennis courts in Mountain City.

Hoping to keep the momentum going, Maulden emphasized that The Friends of Tennis want to turn the uplifting response into action.

“With both public and private commitment, it can succeed,” he said.

Friends of Tennis Mountain City was formed a little more than a year ago, consisting of a group of volunteers specifically focusing on rebuilding the now neglected unusable tennis courts at the Community Center. The project does have a precedent thanks to one local volunteer, Mary Gale, who had provided funds to restore the basketball court, at the Center.

“The balance of the needed work at Cunningham Park, including the tennis courts, remains undone,” Maulden said adding, “Researching the project, revealed that dollar-matching grant funding might be available to help offset the cost, in the form of a Tennessee state program called (LPRF) or Local Park and Recreation Fund.”

The LPRF is a dollar-for-dollar match but allows services in kind to count toward the match. Nearby local governments have used such funds for recent projects, such as the Town of Unicoi, which built an amphitheater. Elizabethton also made use of LPRFs for a number of projects. Our City Council was receptive to hearing about the local interest in this effort and has been waiting for more information on the effort along with an update from the volunteers. With the proposed project’s projected timeline, dates and deadlines for the application process at hand, the Mountain City Council and Alderman have an opportunity to consider the effort at their upcoming meeting now planned for Tuesday, November 13, 2018. The Friends of Tennis Mountain City is urging citizens, young and old to show their favor.

“It is the hope of the Friends of Tennis that the good people of our town and county will continue to voice their support for the project,” Maulden said.
For more information or to support the project, please contact Maulden at (423) 727-4302.