Changes are afoot for the pickleball courts in Klahani Park.
Following a recommendation from the Shuswap Recreation Society, Salmon Arm council agreed unanimously on May 25 to allow the Salmon Arm Pickle Ball Club to place a storage container at Klahani Park. It can also continue with its current court usage but must pay an annual fee of $3,500.
Council also voted unanimously to consider painting pickle ball lines on one additional court, at the city’s expense, but first to study the impact on users and gather input before painting on additional courts.
The club, with approximately 175 members, recently wrote to council to request permission to keep a locker at the South Canoe park in order to store a defibrillator as well as extra equipment and COVID-19 protocol paraphernalia.
At a previous council meeting, council agreed to the club’s request, with the provisos that the request would first go to the Shuswap Rec Society, which manages the city’s facilities, for its opinion, and that city staff would investigate whether an agreement with the club would take care of liability for the city.
Coun. Debbie Cannon told council that Darby Boyd, general manager with the rec society, reviewed different communities and what pickle ball clubs pay. She said for the city’s population compared to other communities, Salmon Arm probably has the most courts.
At any given time the club must leave two courts open for public use. If a tournament were to be held, the club could have exclusive use.
Coun. Kevin Flynn said he would support the recreation society’s recommendations.
“I think it’s a great compromise; I think the rec society has done a great job.”
Regarding painting pickleball lines on an additional court, staff told council the city has funding to resurface the existing tennis and basketball court, and also to paint one pickleball court in the same area. Cost of painting one court with pickleball lines was estimated at $1,200.
Flynn asked who takes down the tennis net and puts up the one for pickleball.
Mayor Alan Harrison explained that at Shuswap Middle School, where there are mixed courts, the tennis nets stay up and are used by recreational pickleball players who don’t mind as it’s not a big height difference.
The council decision now goes to the club for its approval.