The Warner Robins City Council on Monday approved a preliminary agreement to build a $3 million tennis facility in partnership with the Houston County Board of Education.
The two bodies will split the cost, with the school board contributing $1.8 and the council spending up to $1.2 million on the facility. The request touched off an extended debate in the pre-council meeting, with some members expressing concerns that details on how it will be operated had not been determined.
Jarred Reneau, director of the city's recreation department, said those details will be worked out and a final agreement will be brought back to council for approval. The resolution approved Monday, he said, was simply to confirm the council's commitment to the project concept so that the planning process could begin. He said it was not a commitment to spend the money at this time.
Still to be determined, and a key concern of some council members, was who would be responsible for the upkeep and operational costs of the facility, which is expected to have about 19 courts..
"The details can be worked out," said Councilman Mike Davis.
Other council members agreed to approve the resolution after it was agreed that the language should change to state it was allowing Mayor Randy Toms to negotiate the agreement. It previously stated it was giving him the authority to execute the agreement.
Reneau expected a design and final agreement on the operation could be ready for council approval in February, then the project could be put out for bids.
The project would be built near David Perdue Elementary, on school board property where an indoor swimming facility is also being planned.