EDITORIAL: Pickleball request requires review

Nobody is saying no to courts, but our elected officials have a responsibility to do their homework

At a time when society is increasingly stationary, it’s fabulous to see a new sport take off.

There are about 300 pickleball players in Greater Vernon and the number is growing all of the time. It’s got to the point that indoor facilities are maxed out and sharing existing tennis courts is proving challenging.

There’s no question that the answer is a facility designated for pickleball, and no one can blame participants for wanting courts built yesterday.

However, there is a process that must be followed before action, if any, proceeds.

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee was right to sit back and gather information first before deciding on a request for pickleball and tennis courts at Marshall Field.

Primarily, it must be determined if courts are the best use of the land at Marshall Field and what other sports and activities may want a presence there? Marshall Field is a large property but it can’t be everything for everybody.

And while the pickleball and tennis clubs are willing to cover debt repayment, GVAC is being asked to borrow possibly $2.2 million for construction. It’s almost a given that taxpayer approval would be needed through a referendum, and given the pressures for water upgrades and cultural amenities,  GVAC must be selective about its priorities and what goes before voters.

The other issue is what happens if the groups can’t manage debt repayment?

Nobody is saying no to the request for pickleball and tennis courts, but our elected officials have a responsibility to do their homework on behalf of the community.