A player returns a serve during a game of pickleball at the Klahani Park courts in September 2017. (File photo)

Feelings prickle over use of Salmon Arm pickleball courts

Club plans to play as ‘public’ after proposed city use agreement rejected

Attempts at an agreement between the City of Salmon Arm and the Salmon Arm Pickleball Club over court usage at Klahani Park have left a sour taste in the mouths of some of those involved.

At city council’s May 27 meeting, Coun. Debbie Cannon said the club did not show up for a meeting with city reps but she was told the club is disbanding.

“We were in a little bit of a pickle – but not really,” she remarked, noting the courts previously booked by the club will be open to the public for lessons and games. She said she has a feeling the club thinks it can still run the league there without paying.

At issue appear to be costs charged by the city to the club, and times for exclusive use.

Russ Scott, who commented to the Observer the following day as a club spokesperson, said the club remains intact.

“We are a registered club and we want to keep it going… We play as the public now,” he said of court usage at Klahani Park. “We haven’t disbanded, we’re an organized club. New members are always welcome.”

He said he was not able to comment further but the club might be issuing a statement.

The club’s contention to play for free as the public raised the ire of some members of council.

Coun. Tim Lavery said he’s usually “a glass half-full kind of guy,” but he’s seen no intention from the club to work with the city to ensure public access to the courts.

“It wouldn’t be beyond me to take a few of the nets down,” he said. “We’ve been trying to work this out for a long time…”

Mayor Alan Harrison said he’s okay with the courts being public seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

“Our job is to make sure the public knows that.”

Read more: Council supports user agreement for pickleball courts

Read more: 2016 – Free pickleball takes customers

Read more: Pickleball players get new venue

Last year the city charged the club $50 per member (approximately 70 members) for having exclusive use of some of the courts at varying times of the day and week from May 1 to Sept. 30. The city received complaints from the public regarding access to the courts, which were built and are maintained by the city as a public facility.

A May 1 letter to the city from Darby Boyd, general manager of the Shuswap Recreation Society, proposed changes to the agreement based on feedback from the club and the public regarding the inaugural year.

The amended agreement proposed reducing the annual fee from $50 to $25 per member, and increasing the number of days of exclusive use of three of the six courts to Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon and 5 p.m. to dusk. The club would ensure one court would be available at all times for the public during their scheduled times. The agreement would also allow a storage container on site, would provide exclusive playing privileges for one weekend for a tournament, and would provide one free room rental per season for a club meeting.

Council discussed the proposed agreement on May 13, where concerns were expressed about public access during prime evening times, and the low fee compared to private facilities and to the cost of field/court rental for other sports. Council agreed that Coun. Cannon and Boyd return with a recommendation for council.

A May 21 letter from Cannon and Boyd to the club recommended keeping the fee at $50, having exclusive use of four rather than three courts, but reducing the exclusive morning hours to three days a week and the evening hours to two days per week.

Read more: Pickleball club members win place on podium in Kamloops

Read more: B.C. man remains kicked out of pickleball association after feud plays out in court

Read more: North Okanagan players break in new pickleball courts


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Water quality makes swimming unsafe at three beaches near Salmon Arm

The Adams Lake Indian Band has issued a water quality notice affecting beaches at three campgrounds.

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges cadet program on gendered policy

He wants the policy to be more gender inclusive

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Summer sun for Sunday

The forecast for the week ahead shows some rain but plenty of sun and warm tempertures.

In photos: Uptown Askew’s Family Day

The Uptown Askew’s Family Day event was filled with classic cars, face… Continue reading

Word on the street: Has the wet July weather put a damper on your summer any?

Due to the wetter-than-usual July weather, the Observer asked: Has the wet… Continue reading

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry crop

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Donkeys await your hugs and scritches at anniversary event

Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge invites public to help celebrate 20 years of care.

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Second osprey chick dies, Okanagan web cam off

The second chick in an osprey nest featured on the Town of Osoyoos website has died

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

Fire department helps with body recovery in Okanagan Lake

Penticton fire department assisted the RCMP with the recovery of a body Saturday

Police on scene at Penticton beach

RCMP were at a what is believed to be a crime scene near Skaha Beach Sunday

Most Read