A Letter From Paul Widman
I hope this makes it to all that I met with today. It was great to discuss pickleball with you. I am pleased that you are enjoying the courts. Having people interested in being active and using park facilities on a regular basis is a good problem for me to have.
I don’t think I was overly optimistic but there are a few things that the Park and Rec department need to consider on this. If we went with exclusive pickleball use at Cooke, we would need to make sure that the tennis players would be in the loop and absorbed at other courts.
I will do my homework on the budget considerations.
The board meeting is August 12 at 4:30pm at City Hall. Conference Room #104 is to the right and down the corridor as you enter from the parking lot. I would plan on no more than 5 minutes for your presentation. It would be of interest to the board to find out how you are organized (i.e. how you get word out about games, tournaments etc). I would address the idea of Cooke being ideal for exclusive pickleball use just as we discussed earlier today. The idea that it would be a low cost way to go from 2 to 6 courts was a big selling point for me and I am sure it will be for the board as well. We need to be sensitive to other park users. I will do some random stops in the evening to gauge tennis participation.
Thanks again for meeting with me. I have received a warm welcome here in Rochester. Let’s keep the channels of communication open.
park and rec meeting continued..
that he has included a line item for $15,000 in the Park and Rec budget which will be reviewed by City Admin in November. Paul is optimistic that the Department will support the proposal which will then go before City council for approval in January. Paul reiterated that our collective efforts to raise funds sends a strong message of commitment to City Admin. We will continue our efforts to enlist support of players for individual donation. And, we will aggressively work our plan to secure corporate sponsorships.
We also talked about cost for resurfacing and installing poles and nets. Park and Rec has collected some information, and Scott shared information from the research done on our end.
A meeting will be scheduled for sometime after the first of the year to see where we are with final approval. At that time, we will begin to develop a more detailed plan.
Submitted by Joanne
Letter From Park and Rec continued...
If you would like to meet again in January to review the next steps that would be up to you and the group. If you want to plan on a Wednesday or Thursday that generally works best for us. Most of our ongoing meetings happen earlier in the week. Let me know what works for you.
I look forward to working with you on the completion of the project.
The good news is that they continue to be extremely supportive of dedicated outdoor courts for pickleball. Furthermore we are all in agreement that we want to do the project right and not cut corners to save money. The bad news is that we lack sufficient funds to convert the Cooke Park courts this year as we have learned that the bids received to date exceed what we had expected the project to cost.
Paul remains confident that the City Council will support a funding proposal that would enable us to proceed with the courts for next year, with the intent that we would be ready to have the work done at the start of the season. Furthermore, Park and Recreation Department will serve as our fiscal agent which will enable us to apply for grant funding. In fact, he sent me a draft of the fiscal agent agreement this afternoon that will be necessary for us for the Rochester Area Foundation grant proposal which we will be submitting shortly.
In addition, Paul will continue to coordinate the collection of additional bids for the Cooke Park project with the intent that we would be able to have first class courts at the best price. If anyone has contacts with contractors who might be able to provide a bid, provide that information to Scott or Dale who will be collecting that information for Paul.
Paul will also explore the potential of painting pickle ball court lines on other tennis courts in an effort to provide us with additional capacity for outdoor play.
Rich and Bob Fisher will continue to explore options for contacting businesses for donations to support the proposal. If anyone has personal contacts with businesses that may be receptive to this proposal, provide the information to Rich or Bob. They will be coordinating the list of businesses and managing the process of contacting the businesses. Please do not contact businesses requesting a donation without first checking with them to make sure that we have not already done so.
Many of you are aware that we also initiated a 50 X 50 club in an effort to collect donations of $50 from individual pickle ball players.if you have not donated or would like to donate again, please consider making a donation to Rochester Pickleball for the purpose of supporting the project. Give checks to Jan who will deposit them in our savings account. Please be advised that the donations to Rochester Pickleball are not tax-deductible as we are not going through the Rochester Senior Center as we did last year. The reason for this is that Rochester Park and Recreation is now serving as the overseer for the outdoor pickleball program.
So while we are disappointed that the courts will not be done this year, we do believe this is the right course of action over the long run.
Jan, Mike, Dale, Rich, Scott, please add any additional information.
Rochester Pickleball – Pickleball is a growing sport that is easily adapted to persons of all ages. Over 150 players are registered with Rochester Pickleball and courts are scarce. A joint plan with the pickleball players and the Rochester Park and Rec are looking to covert 2 tennis courts at Cooke Park to 6 pickleball courts.
Total Funded $2,250