For Mark and Marcie Daly, who have hit the clay at the Great Neck Estates tennis courts since 1998, some of the outdoor courts have become nearly “unplayable.”
They described the back of courts one and two as sometimes being muddy and the clay as warping when it rains. They also noted occasional cracks when the clay was too dry and a “mound” in another court because clay does not seem properly maintained.
Taken together, the Dalys said this can sometimes be dangerous – especially since Marcie Daly once twisted her knee while playing.
“I just want to play tennis and be comfortable at it,” Mark Daly told Great Neck Estates village trustees on Monday night.
It wasn’t a point of disagreement.
Village officials said that the first three courts have always had some drainage issues, in part because of their position near Manhasset Bay and water pooling beneath the facility.
But these problems got worse when New York Tennis took over managing the tennis facility and installed concrete walls to raise the indoor tennis courts to reduce flooding around seven years ago, they said.
“The main problem is that wall and how it’s designed,” said Ernest Garvey, superintendent of public works. “The water has nowhere to go.”
The Dalys also said the outdoor fencing is in poor shape because portions of it have to be torn down for re-claying the courts.
Village officials expressed interest in getting an engineer to look into improving the drainage system, getting a professional to maintain the courts and facilities, and reviewing how to handle fencing.
“We’re going to look at it from management, maintenance, to drainage,” Mayor William Warner said. “Those are the three big issues and we’ll go from there.”
Once the draining system is addressed, officials will be able to “maintain the courts at a much higher level,” Warner added.