Tennis courts

Why is there a fee to play at the Kutzky tennis courts? – Post bulletin


The Kutzky Park tennis courts are owned by the City of Rochester and have recently been significantly upgraded by independent fundraising. Why do I have to pay every time I play on these outdoor public courts? As a non-member of the Rochester Tennis Connection, a private club on West Seventh Street, I am obligated to give $10 to an RTC staff member every time I visit Kutzky’s site. How did this arrangement come about? Soldiers’ Field has excellent city-owned tennis courts, but there’s no one there with an outstretched hand when I’m driving. Please explain to a puzzled player.

You may feel like you’ve been kicked out, Puzzled Player, but the upgrades you mention in your question are the very reason there’s now a charge.

As nice as the courts at Soldiers Field are — and other neighborhood courts around town as well — they don’t have restrooms, a clubhouse, daily maintenance, and on-site staff like they do. now the Kutzky Park Courts. These must be maintained in one way or another, and the fees paid by Rochester Tennis Connection and individual payers, like you, provide the means to do so.

I’ve spent enough time in government boardrooms to have learned that one of the most persistent tasks in local government is finding the fairest way to allocate the costs of government services. Sometimes this involves taxes, especially in cases where the service or product is widely used by everyone. Take busy roads, for just one example, but you could also say that most parts of the public park system form a general network that benefits everyone equally, hence the tax support for most of them them.

Where fees often come into play is where the service benefits very specific people. Take the city’s golf courses for example. Or, it is where there is a “premium” level of service that has been offered, beyond the general service. That seems to be the case with the Kutzky Park Tennis Courts, where the city employs tennis pro Tim Butorac to give lessons and lessons, and the facilities are a bit nicer and more comprehensive. There are plenty of other places duffers like me can hit balls into a net.

As you probably already know, I live to serve. Send your questions to Answer Man at

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