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Pay walls shut residents out of taxpayer-funded facilities

By Staff | May 11, 2024

To the editor:

Please stop using taxpayer money to build things that are so expensive that you can’t let residents use them for free.

The proposed fees for Lake Kennedy pickle ball courts are far more than most people can pay in today’s economy.

Do the same fees apply to the tennis courts?

I appreciate there’s a lower cost for student fees for the Lake Kennedy facility but for families with more than two children that’s a lot of money. With the couple and individual rates for adults, how can parents afford to play and teach their kids?

Most individuals and families in Cape Coral need to have free or very low cost access to the new facilities our tax dollars make possible.

Provide some completely free time for residents for a few hours a day and offer some very low cost times for students and families to play together.

Offer a free time for seniors at least three days a week and have an accessible court for wheelchair users.

If Venus and Serena Williams grew up here, they would never have a chance to discover and develop their talents with this paywall between them and the opportunity to play and learn.

Stop thinking of ways for the parks “to make money” — that sounds good in an annual report, but only means that we taxpayers have to keep paying again and again to use the very facilities than our tax dollars made possible. These should be free or have minimal charges for us to use.

If you’re spending way too much money on these projects and expecting them to be privately managed, you’re building in costs that make these out of reach for most people.

And please, keep parks free and open for all to use, a perk for the people who live here, not a profit maker for businesses who who just want the space.

Heather O’Connell

Cape Coral