Howard proposes three more pickleball courts
By Kevin Boneske
HOWARD – Park impact fees collected for residential building permits the village issues are being designated next year for various park projects estimated at more than $500,000.
“This year we collected a lot of fees with all the apartment buildings that were approved and the permits that were taken out, and we’ve had about 80 single-family homes so far this year, hoping that we get to 100,” Director of Administrative Services Chris Haltom said. “We are not projecting as high of an amount in 2022, but we do have quite a few funds in the park impact fee fund.”
Haltom informed the Howard Village Board on Oct. 25 about the park projects proposed for 2022.
“Nouryon Sports Complex has several different projects that add up to $56,000,” he said. “We have two playground installations that are going to occur next year (at Mills Center and Woodale Park), and we’re estimating $75,000 apiece for those. And then we have the kayak launch, which is going to be about $115,000, and we’re going to have a grant reimbursement of about $63,000.”
Haltom said the village also proposed the addition of three pickleball courts for an estimated cost of $115,000 at Meadowbrook Park, where the existing three courts are used “quite a bit” several days of the week.
“They would easily fill up another three courts,” he said.
Haltom said the new courts would be located there because the Meadowbrook Park pickleball courts are “like a little community in and of itself.”
“They are very inviting, they want people to come and they want people to learn the rules and how to play,” he said. “There is a large concentration that likes to come there. They enjoy the community effect – I guess that’s that best way I could put it. They like having all the facilities together.”
Haltom said pickleball is “an extremely popular sport that’s growing in popularity,” with people of all ages and skill levels.
Howard Village Administrator Paul Evert said having one place with six courts could probably generate a lot of interest in pickleball, though he acknowledged courts could be built elsewhere in the village in the future.
“At the moment, this group really shows up in numbers,” he said. “You can just show up with your racket and play.”
Trustee Craig McAllister said he favored constructing the three new courts in one location because it would cost less.
“If we start putting them all over, then construction crews have to move equipment around (and) it’s going to cost more,” he said.
Village President Burt McIntyre said he favored establishing a central area for pickleball, which wouldn’t prevent other courts from being built elsewhere in the future.
Haltom said a new foot bridge at an estimated cost of $60,000 at Meadowbrook Park is also also proposed for next year.