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

Missing woman last seen in Lumby

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP seek public’s help in locating 32-year-old woman

Vernon RCMP look to return stolen bike to owner

If you are missing your bike from Cenotaph park on July 5, call Vernon RCMP

Multi-sport performer named Lumby’s Athlete of the Year

Rory Campbell loves basketball, plays volleyball, soccer, hockey and ultimate frisbee

Lumby Lions name Good Citizen of the Year

Award goes to Lumby Food Bank operator and North Okanagan Valley Gleaners volunteer Robert Wilkinson

Vernon Mounties share video of cyclist hit by vehicle, assaulted

Police release short video clip of cyclist struck by SUV in March 2020, and photos of suspects

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Interior Health identifies more locations with COVID-19 exposure in Kelowna

Anyone who participated in events in the Kelowna downtown and waterfront area between June 25 and July 6 should monitor closely for symptoms

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Washington’s NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

The franchise was given the name back in 1933, when it was still in Boston

Most Read