Government

Parks and Rec Advisory Board reviews skate park meetings, pickleball

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Members of Palisade’s Parks and Recreation Board (PRAB) welcomed new member Debbye Harmon at their April meeting last Thursday evening. Harmon was appointed by the Board of Trustees at their last meeting on April 26.

Harmon is an enthusiastic resident of Palisade, operating a non-profit dog training business to provide service dogs to veterans affected by PTSD. She has also expressed interest in providing activities for both veterans and stay-at-home moms.

Board member Carol Pellowski submitted her resignation, leaving one seat open after Harmon’s confirmation. Interested citizens may call Town Hall for more information on the open seat.

More on pickleball

Also welcomed by PRAB were members of Palisade’s growing and thriving pickleball community. Spokeswoman Wanda Robertson thanked Public Works Director Frank Watt and Recreation Program Director Sarah Brooks for their assistance in having one of the PeachBowl Park tennis courts striped for pickleball players.

She also asked if there was any possibility of having the second court striped for both sports as well. Robertson thanked the Palisade Lions Club for their donation of $500 to go toward nets, equipment and a place to store the gear. She said that the pickleball players use the courts between 12 and 16 hours per week and that they sign up in advance for their court times.

PRAB Chair Desa Loughman updated the group from an email she had received from Frank Watt. Watt had just addressed the Trustees at their meeting two nights earlier, reporting that he had received a few complaints from tennis players, saying they were feeling ‘pushed out’. They were very much against the striping of the second court, saying the extra lines were confusing. Watt has decided that the second court will not be restriped until more courts are available, since he had originally been asked that both courts NOT be striped at the same time.

The pickleball group was encouraged to come to a Trustee meeting and speak during the Public Comment section of the meeting to state their support for pickleball and their desire to work with the tennis players on a solution.

They feel that so much is being done to entertain the kids in Palisade that some effort could be spent on the older citizens as well.

Skatepark feedback

Concerned citizen Rick Fox also spoke during Public Comment, giving his feedback on the information meetings held on April 21 concerning the design of the future skateboard park in Palisade.

Fox was strongly opposed to the suggestion that the basketball court currently located at Memorial Park next to the current skate park be moved to make room for the new skatepark. He was also opposed to locating the new skatepark at Memorial Park, after looking at the other options. Fox mentioned the increased noise level and other disruptions of the new, larger skatepark and possible conflicts with other civic events to be held at Memorial Park or the Veterans Community Center. He also pointed out that it doesn’t make sense to destroy the basketball court only to have to pay to rebuild it elsewhere.

Fox also observed that it might be a good time to develop a Parks Master Plan for the town, since all of our parks are being impacted more and more by new activities and festivals.

Fox mentioned that if the project were downsized somewhat from its $500,000 proposed value, it could be eligible for funds from the Local Government Park and Outdoor Recreation Grants program. There is a $350,000 cap on grant funds available through this program, with a 10% cash match and a 30% total match requirement. He also suggested a design that would appeal to multimodal wheeled use; bikes, skates and other wheeled devices, not a park designed mainly for expert skaters.

Other discussion

The agenda included a number of additional discussion items. Answering the question of how to use the $5,000 donation by Richard and Carolyn McKinley, the suggestion was made to use the money to finish the bike skills park. Although a fence for the park was discussed, it was voted down in favor of beautification and ongoing maintenance.

Members also talked about doing some informal Community Outreach, with a couple of members at a time locating at one of Palisade’s parks and just talking to the park users. Comments would be solicited from park users on their likes and dislikes, and any ideas they might have for improving the parks and rec programs.

Upcoming events include:

Brews & Cruise – a beer and bike festival in Memorial Park on Saturday, May 7 with a street dance in downtown Palisade the night before, Friday, May 6.

Clean-up day at the Community Garden is scheduled for Sunday, May 15.

The next meeting of the Parks and Rec Advisory Board will be held on Thursday, May 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the Public Meeting Room of the Civic Center at 341 West 7th Street. Meetings are open to the public and agendas can be found posted at Town Hall or on the Town’s website, www.townofpalisade.org, no later than 24 hours before each meeting.

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Formerly the manager of the Palisade Tribune, Betsy moved to Palisade in 2009 after spending almost 35 years in Breckenridge. She has three grown kids, two in Colorado and one in Idaho. A die-hard Palisade booster, Betsy is also a big fan of the Palisade High School Bulldogs.