BELLEVUE, Iowa — Pickleball courts are coming to Bellevue, thanks to the efforts of some local residents.
Bellevue City Council members this week approved a request from a group of residents hoping to install pickleball courts at Cole Park. The entire project will be funded by money raised by the group.
“We’re good to go,” said Chuck Melton, who is leading the local initiative. “We’ve been working really hard.”
Melton described pickleball as a cross between tennis and table tennis. Players use rackets to hit balls over a net, but the courts are significantly smaller than those used for tennis.
Workers will resurface existing tennis courts at Cole Park and install holes for pickleball nets. The courts still can be used for tennis and can be modified to accommodate both games.
Group members managed to raise $24,000 for the project. About $13,000 will be used for construction, and group members hope to raise more money to cover a $14,000 lighting effort.
While the group still needs to raise $3,000, there is enough funding to begin work on the courts and the installation of the first set of lights, Melton said.
Melton said pickleball is an increasingly popular sport in Bellevue.
“We’ve got a lot more local interest in Bellevue lately,” Melton said. “It’s a game that anyone can play.”
After construction is completed — likely by the end of this month — the city will take over maintaining the courts.
In other action, City Council members are testing cameras installed at Felderman Park to monitor the city’s trail and compost pit. The equipment and installation cost $10,000, half of which was funded by a grant.
City Administrator/Clerk Abbey Skrivseth said the cameras were installed to deter people from dumping non-organic items — like plastic chairs — in the city’s compost pit.
City Council members this week voted to create a $100 fine for anyone incorrectly using the compost pit. Non-Bellevue residents who use the pit would be subject to the fine as well.
“There should be a fine of some type,” said Mayor Roger Michels. “If you don’t have a fine, they will keep doing it.”
Skrivseth said the cameras are a starting point for the city. Additional cameras could be placed at Cole Park and along various streets that serve as access points to the town.
“Right now, we’re just seeing how they work,” Skrivseth said. “It could help the police, so we’re in the early stages.”