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Meadowlakes inks new lease for tennis and pickleball courts

Meadowlakes tennis courts

Tennis and pickleball courts at Meadowlakes were resurfaced during the summer of 2022. After signing a lease with L&A Cowart Enterprises, the city will no longer pay for the courts’ upkeep. It will also receive a small amount of profits generated by pickleball and tennis lessons at the facility. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

The Meadowlakes City Council agreed to lease its tennis and pickleball courts to L&A Cowart Enterprises during a regular meeting on Dec. 20. The agreement takes effect Jan. 1, 2023. The company’s owner, Lance Cowart, is a Meadowlakes resident.

“The lessee actually came to us and asked us if we could,” Meadowlakes Mayor Mark Bentley said. “They brought us the proposal, and everything seemed to look good to us.”

With the agreement in place, the city will no longer pay for the courts’ upkeep. It will also receive a small amount of profits generated by pickleball and tennis lessons at the facility.

“It seemed to be better than doing nothing,” Bentley said. “You have the do-nothing case, and then you have the case where an outsider is leasing the court, paying you money, and responsible for the upkeep. It seemed like a no-brainer, really.”

The agreement also includes a new reservation system that gives priority to Meadowlakes residents. Reservations will need to be made a week in advance.

“As the sport (pickleball) gets more popular, the courts get tight,” Bentley said. “Right now, without the lease, we can’t restrict outsiders from coming and playing.”

While tennis lessons have always been offered on the courts, the new agreement paves the way for pickleball lessons.

“That was arranged by the lessee, not the city,” Bentley said. “I guess that’s another favorable impact of the lease.”

Instructors are certified by the International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association and include Aldera Boothe, Russ Dennis, Bob Baker, and Bill Dunn.

“The lessee has gone out and got some qualified instructors to help out anyone who wants to improve their game,” Bentley said.

To learn more about the court’s offerings, email Cowart at lcowart47@gmail.com.

nathan@thepicayune.com