City: Contract terminated due to budget restraints
It appears tennis will live on at the Cape Coral Yacht Club, but not under Mid-Cape Racquet and Health Club, which was handling the operation until budget cuts forced the city to end the arrangement.
According to Mid-Cape owner and operator Bob Lynch, the city ended the three-year agreement in April.
The agreement, which began in February, had Mid-Cape providing tennis equipment, facility upkeep, pro shop inventory, liability insurance and staff at a cost of more than $46,000.
Lynch was reportedly informed by the Parks and Recreation Department that the city was terminating the agreement to save money, an explanation that does not make sense to Lynch. He was told the city could save $42,000 by terminating the contract.
“We’re under the impression they were going to try and run it themselves,” Lynch said. “If it’s going to cost them as much as we were paid, then it’s not going to save the city what they proposed.”
City spokeswoman Connie Barron said the move was strictly because of budget cutbacks, and is in no way reflective of the job Mid-Cape was doing.
“Nothing is going to change. We’re just going to be bringing the management in-house,” she said. “We’re not unhappy with Mid-Cape. We were very happy with them. It just came down to dollars.”
The city did not violate the contract by opting out early. According to Lynch, the city or Mid-Cape could have opted out with a 90-day notice.
Lynch said he understands the city’s decision, especially the tough budgetary decisions made by the Cape Coral City Council, but he is interested in protecting his business’ reputation.
“We have to look out for our own business,” Lynch said. “We’re trying to grow tennis in the Cape. It makes the city look good, and it makes Mid-Cape look good.”
Barron could not verify the cost of the city’s contract with Mid-Cape Racquet and Health Club, nor what it would cost the city to operate the tennis services on its own.