The Vernon Pickleball Association is happy with news the City of Vernon will form a committee to work with the association over unresolved issues surrounding the courts at Marshall Field that opened in 2018. (Morning Star - file photo)

Vernon Pickleball Association, city on same side over courts issues

City strikes committee to work with association to find solutions to unresolved matters

Instead of battling across the net from one another, the City of Vernon and Vernon Pickleball Association (VPA) are now on the same side of the court.

Coun. Akbal Mund motioned to postpone a number of staff recommendations that went against requests to the city from the VPA, which was unanimously supported (Coun. Kelly Fehr was absent from Tuesday’s council meeting). Mund then motioned to form a committee consisting of himself, administrator Will Pearce and city real estate manager Brett Bandy to work with the VPA to resolve some outstanding issues.

“Hopefully we conclude with an agreement between the city and Vernon Pickleball Association moving forward,” said Mund.

The VPA first approached the Regional District of North Okanagan, then in charge of parks, to build 12 courts at Marshall Field. RDNO estimated the cost to build the facility at $1.4 million. The association countered with $600,000 and building the courts themselves. RDNO agreed and contributed a $300,000 grant. VPA raised more than $100,000 and contributed plenty of what they termed “sweat equity” into the project, and also took a loan of $145,000 from the city to help with construction costs.

RELATED: Vernon Pickleball Association wants lease deal upheld

The association appeared as a delegation at the last regular council meeting April 8 wanting to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with the city. VPA president Rob Irving also asked that the city relocate a fire hydrant near the courts and felt the city’s request for the association to add additional parking was unfounded.

City staff had recommended to council prior to Mund’s first motion that council require free public access to the pickleball courts on an ongoing basis, as substantially proposed by the VPA, and that recreation services be responsible for the booking of the public times on the courts.

Staff, though, suggested the VPA relocate the existing waterline underneath the courts and the fire hydrant, as per recommendations by a consulting firm and Vernon Fire Rescue Services. The city also wanted the VPA to fulfill a requirement of additional parking as per the building permit issue.

READ ALSO: Vernon pickleball courts opening soon

Those issues will now be discussed by both sides.

“We think it’s a very positive step,” said Irving, one of about 20 members of the association in attendance at council Tuesday. “One of the things we’ve been lacking for quite some time now is meaningful dialogue, or any dialogue, and so getting a dialogue going with all the parties in the room is very positive.

“I’m confident there’s common ground to resolve the issues, embrace the wonderful courts we’ve constructed and have solutions that are fair to all concerned.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Visitor to Kamloops army club tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The individual visited Anavets 290 Army and Navy Club between March 13 and March 17

Vernon family shares story of son’s cancer recovery to encourage blood donation

Finlay Ritson’s parents can’t donate blood, but hope his story will encourage others to do so

Vernon Superstore sees long lineups amid COVID-19

Long lineups Saturday evidence customers following social-distancing protocols

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

COVID-19: Upcoming season a question mark for Enderby drive-in movie theatre

Starlight Drive In Movie Theatre says it’s working on limiting capacity among other safeguards

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Mitchell’s Musings: Pandemics and parking meters don’t add up

Despite COVID-19 crisis, City of Vernon insists on paid parking downtown

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

COVID-19: Staying home in Shuswap is difficult when you don’t have one

As the snow flies, people without homes in Salmon Arm talk about how tough life is

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Woman raised in Shuswap on COVID-19 frontline with field hospital in Italy

Bev Kauffeldt is leading a medical team at the temporary hospital run by Samaritan’s Purse

Most Read