Oakmont board seeks to end pickleball issue
Quite possibly, the final chapter in Oakmont’s long-running pickleball saga was written on July 17 when the Oakmont Village Association (OVA) Board of Directors rejected an effort to seek a $16,000 contribution from the Pickleball Club.
The board soundly rejected a resolution to ask the club to pay back to the OVA a $16,131 donation toward construction of the pickleball courts near Berger Center, money that had been returned to the club when that project was canceled last year.
The club acknowledged offering to write a new check for the same amount after the completion of different pickleball courts near the East Rec Center, but it contended that the offer was made only after it was told it was a condition to get back its original donation for the Berger courts. The club also said that donation was raised for the specific purpose of making up a shortfall in the contract price for constructing courts behind the Berger.
Directors Carolyn Bettencourt and Greg Goodwin were the only two of seven voting to support the motion. While Goodwin said he felt the club had an obligation to write a new check, director Tom Kendrick said it would set a precedent and that money should not be collected from residents for amenities. Bettencourt said she hoped the vote, however it turned out, would end the pickleball controversy once and for all.
A second resolution, passed unanimously, went even further. It said that in the future, “neither Oakmont clubs nor individual OVA members in general are expected to pay for the construction or major maintenance of the facilities they use. The funds for these projects ultimately come from the dues paid by all OVA members and other sources of OVA income.”
In June, six pickleball courts were completed at Oakmont’s East Rec Center after two of four tennis courts located there were converted to the popular new sport. City approval for the court conversation was granted in April, almost exactly a year after construction of courts near the Berger Center was halted by the former Board President Ellen Leznik. OVA eventually paid SIRI Construction for more than $27,000 in costs and penalties for cancelling the Berger project. Yet by converting existing tennis courts rather than building a new facility, the board may have saved as much as $250,000.