Aldermen approve increase in Duncan Park tennis fees

Published 1:10 am Sunday, April 2, 2017

NATCHEZ — Tennis players at Duncan Park will see a slight increase in rates soon when they head to the city-owned courts.

The Natchez Board of Aldermen recently approved 5-1 an increase to the tennis rates at the recommendation of the Natchez-Adams County Recreation Commission.

Email newsletter signup

Natchez YMCA Director Alice Agner requested the increase on behalf of the commission at the aldermen’s meeting last week.

The rate increase is only for adult tennis players and does not affect prices of any youth programs, Agner said.

Agner said rates have not increased in at least the past four years, while expenses have gone up. The goal, she said, was to work toward making revenue and expenses even.

The increased rates are:

4Pay to play — $5 for two hours, up from $3

4Six months — $150 paid by bank draft in $25 monthly payments, up from a one-time payment of $125

4One year — $300 pay by bank draft in $25 monthly payments, up from a one-time payment of $250

Monthly membership rates did not change and remain at $30.

Mayor Darryl Grennell said at the meeting he and Ward 1 Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis met with Agner prior to the aldermen meeting to discuss increasing rates.

Grennell and Arceneaux-Mathis both said they recommended increasing rates.

Ward 2 Alderman Billie Joe Frazier voted against the increase, saying he did not have a problem with the increase but did not think the YMCA should be involved in decided tennis rates.

“(I have) reservations (about) the YMCA and the City of Natchez,” he said. “The (YMCA) and the city is separate, and the (YMCA) shouldn’t be involved in this type of stuff.”

Frazier said the Natchez recreation department should handle tennis rates.

Agner reiterated to Frazier that the rate increase came at the recommendation of the recreation commission.

Frazier also asked about the credit card machine now at the tennis facility and how those revenues are handled.

Agner said the YMCA installed the machine, the revenues from which go first to the YMCA and then the YMCA cuts a check to the city.

Frazier said he disagreed with the YMCA being involved in the collection of payments.

Grennell told Frazier the YMCA installed the machine for the convenience of patrons because the city does not yet have the capability to operate a credit card machine.

Later in the meeting, Frazier yielded the time for his report to Tennis Director Henry Harris who said that he was not informed about the increases to the tennis rates. Harris likened the YMCA to a tenant in his building.

“If you’re going to be a tenant in the building, and you ain’t going to run it by the damn (department) head, then I need to put you out,” Harris said.

When asked by Grennell and Arceneaux-Mathis, Agner said that the tennis rates were verbally communicated to Harris and that an email was also sent to him. Harris said he did not receive an email.