Mayor asks Pickleballers to be patient

Dedicated courts planned for before the end of the season.

On Saturday, the City, along with the Cold Lake Tennis Club celebrated the re-opening of dedicated tennis courts, with a surprise. Someone had marked up the newly refurbished Ivan Krook Memorial Park courts with permanent marker, drawing Picklebal lines. The courts are intended to be used strictly for tennis, as there are two multi-use courts in the city and a dedicated pickleball space coming soon. Mayor of Cold Lake, Craig Copeland, is asking the pickleball players to be patient, as new courts that will be dedicated to the sports are being build.

“We’re asking the pickleballers to have a little bit of patience. If they’re going to play pickleball on the tennis courts, use chalk or some kind of tape, not permanent marker” the mayor urges the pickleball players to be considerate of the new courts. Mayor Copeland believes the refurbishing came with a $150,000 price tag, a carry-over project  from the 2016 Budget.

The courts at Ivan Krook Memorial are dedicated to tennis, confirms Mayor Copeland. “What we’re trying to avoid, is conflict. If tennis grows in Cold Lake we’re going to have conflict with the pickleball players wanting to be on the two courts.” City Council recognized a trend in the growth of both sports and planned for dedicated space for each.

In the short time between the refurbishing of the Ivan Krook Memorial Park Courts and the opening, someone, or a group of people, defaced the courts with lines. “The City staff worked last week to try to get the lines off. Some were done in chalk and some were done in, what appears to be, permanent marker. They worked hard to try to get them out, as best they could,” despite their efforts, the lines were still visible at Saturday’s celebrations, say the mayor, “you can still see it at one end of the courts.”

Coming Soon

“The pickleball courts are coming soon,” Mayor Copeland says the City hoping to get the project started in early August so they are complete before the end of the summer season. “The site selection is at Imperial Park, up top by the baseball diamonds. We selected a site that was level, close to washroom facilities and able to expand over time if the pickleball group grows over time,”  Copeland confirms there will be a minimum of eight courts.

There are other areas planned for more pickleball courts, confirms Mayor Copeland, “up on 50th street, where the water reservoir storage building there’s going to be some pickleball courts.” There’s a special type of flooring that will be used at that site, which Copeland says he’s excited to see in use, “they’ll make tennis, pickleball and basketball courts there, with this tile-like flooring. We saw it in Council and it looks pretty sharp.”

Where to play Pickleball

There are multi-use courts for pickleballers to enjoy until the new spaces are finished, says the mayor, “we have the courts at [Kinosoo] beach and dedicated time at the field house.”


Fast-tracking the projects

“We moved some construction dollars around from the 2017 Budget,” Mayor Copeland explains that dedicated pickleball courts weren’t in the 2017 Budget; however after the club came in front of Council and in seeing the growing popularity of the sport, Council decided to move forward with the project. “We’re going to try to snap in the pickleball courts this August, even though when we set up the 2017 Budget, we didn’t find enough money to build the courts. But we brought it back and we’re going to move some capital dollars around in the budget to find the $200,000.”