Committee reviews “DreamCourt” donation for Lahaina Civic Center Complex; decision expected at October 4 Council meeting
The Economic Development, Energy, Agriculture, and Recreation Committee today heard testimony and met with Administration officials on a proposed resolution authorizing the County of Maui to accept a donation of a “DreamCourt” outdoor basketball court to replace one tennis court at the Lahaina Civic Center.
As Chair of the EAR Committee, I scheduled today’s discussion to ensure a well-informed decision by the full Council on Oct. 4.
I recognize that this is an important issue to the community and I am interested in finding a win-win solution.
Clearly, the tennis community desires to retain its courts – even the ones in dire need of repair, in the hopes that the County will one day bring all tennis courts to safe playing standards.
Currently, there are eleven public courts owned by the County in West Maui.
The community is faced with an opportunity to accept a generous donation from two foundations long involved with the Maui Invitational Tournament. These donors would like to contribute to the Maui County community and encourage our youth to participate in sports such as basketball.
The proposed donation is from the Nancy Lieberman Foundation and World Ventures Foundation and includes material and installation of the basketball court worth $20,000.
Their offer to donate a DreamCourt for our community of basketball players is appreciated, particularly by those in the West Maui area who currently make use of two outdoor and three indoor basketball courts.
Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation Brianne Savage explained the time-sensitive nature of the proposal.
The Department of Parks and Recreation intends to have the DreamCourt installed in time for the 30th Maui Invitational basketball tournament, which takes place during Thanksgiving week. Savage said that shipping of the materials from the Mainland will have to be initiated next week for installation to be completed for the Maui Invitational’s Keiki Clinic, held on Nov. 24, the Sunday prior to tournament week.
There are nine existing tennis courts at the Lahaina Civic Center, four of which are newly installed. Savage explained that the determination to replace one of the tennis courts was because of its low rate of usage, which may be a result of the maintenance issues.
A testifier in support of the basketball court described the poor condition of the tennis courts – cracks, uneven surface areas and unhygienic restroom facilities.
Council Chair Gladys Baisa inquired with Budget Director Sandy Baz if there were any push for a basketball court at the Administration’s Community Budget Meeting in Lahaina on Sept. 16. Baz confirmed that the community demanded more basketball courts.
Councilmember Elle Cochran, who holds the West Maui residency seat, said she was “flabbergasted” to learn about the poor conditions of the tennis courts.
I agree with Councilmember Cochran on her recommendation to use Park Assessment Fees towards the repair and improvement of the tennis courts. The Department of the Corporation Counsel verified that Park Assessment Fees may be used for that purpose, but not for its maintenance.
My proposed win-win solution to benefit both basketball and tennis players, should the Council authorize the donation of a DreamCourt, is for the Administration to consider using the West Maui Parks Assessment Fund – which I understand is approximately $5 million, to help repair the existing tennis courts.
This scenario would mean that one court may be dedicated to a new basketball court and four existing tennis courts would be brought up to standards.
Here is the Oct. 4 Council agenda: http://www.mauicounty.gov/Archive.aspx?ADID=18347
If you’re concerned about this issue, please testify on County Communication 13-108.
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