By Barbie Porter
The Vergas City Council was asked to allow the community club to begin fundraising for the proposed pickleball court. What seemed like an easy thumbs up, turned into a wait and see moment.
During the monthly council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 9, Vergas Community Club President Sherri Hanson asked for city approval to use the city website to provide information on the pickleball fundraiser and to store the funds in a city account through West Central Initiative.
The city has several funds with WCI, but the concern was what would happen to those funds if the pickleball court didn’t move forward, as it is still in the discussion stage.
Councilman Logan Dahlgren posed the questions, would the funds need to be returned to the donors, or could they be funneled into another account?
Hanson applauded the question, noting that is important to consider. She asked if the account could make it clear the funds may be shifted to another area if the pickleball court didn’t move froward. Then, she questioned if having that caveat would hurt funding, as some may be donating because it is a pickleball court.
Vergas City Clerk Julie Lammers said she would contact WCI to find out the process of what happens to the funds if a fundraising goal is not met or if the project is terminated.
The council agreed to table the discussion until next month, at which time Hanson also hopes to bring a basic drawing showing where the pickleball court would be located. The discussed location has been at the little league ball field in the parking area. The location would still allow for little league games and has been stated to not impact the ball field.
talks ongoing with area
The council learned the park and rec group was also working with the area snowmobile club to create a safe, designated route into town. Concern arose when snowmobilers were reported on the trail, and possibly on the floating boardwalk. The paved trail extends from downtown to the city’s public beach on Long Lake. The path has been cleared this past winter to allow residents safer walking options.
Vergas City Utilities Superintendent Mike DuFrane suggested attitudinal signage be placed to tell snowmobilers the trail is on the side of the road opposite of the lake. However, it was noted those ditches are steep and may be unsafe or challenging for novice riders.
DuFrane said another idea the city could consider is allowing the snow to cover the path, and having the snowmobile club use a groomer to pack down the snow on the trail. DuFrane said hard packed trails can be easy to navigate by walkers, and sometimes safer. He said trails can look clear and still be slick.
Hanson said the park board wants to encourage snowmobile traffic to Vergas, and the park and rec group are seeking avenues for them to get into the city so they can fill up with gas, grab a bite to eat and do other shopping.