Log in Subscribe

State grant to be requested for tennis, pickleball courts

By DAVID MELSON - dmelson@t-g.com
Posted 2/4/23

Details of a proposed grant application for the State of Tennessee recreation funds were detailed by Recreation Director Mike Alsup at a Shelbyville City Council study session Tuesday.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

State grant to be requested for tennis, pickleball courts

Details of a proposed grant application for the State of Tennessee recreation funds were detailed by Recreation Director Mike Alsup at a Shelbyville City Council study session Tuesday.
Two public meetings and a lunch with a group of senior adult park users resulted in many suggestions for use of the funds, Alsup said. Those meeting had been urged by city council member Marilyn Ewing.
The funds, if received, should be used for tennis and pickleball courts, Alsup recommended. The application will be for up to $1.5 million.
Pickleball can be played utilizing portions of the tennis courts, according to Alsup, although some commenters desired dedicated pickleball courts.
Alsup said 24 suggestions were received for tennis courts with what he described as a “bubble,” allowing use during colder and inclement weather at H.V. Griffin Park. Twelve people asked for pickleball courts, seven desired lighted, fenced soccer fields, and a few suggested extensions of the park’s walking trail.
Parents of tennis players supported the soccer plans, Alsup said.
A soccer complex would carry an estimated cost of $12-15 million, Alsup said. It would involve currently-unused land and require a new park entrance, new field lighting, and a large new parking lot – the “whole works,” in Alsup’s words. Soccer leagues currently use the outfields of baseball and softball fields.
“Has the county ever thought about helping pay for any of this?” Turnbow asked. He cited the number of residents from all across the county using the city facilities, including some school athletic programs. Ewing said the school system has talked about building its own facilities at some locations. Shelbyville Central High School has its own lighted soccer field.
Fee increases
Proposed increases to the Shelbyville Planning and Community Development Fee Schedule were explained by Waleed Albakry, the city’s director of planning and community development.
The increases, which Albakry said are “not huge,” generally involve permits costing developers several hundred dollars per new structure.
Turnbow asked if the city could charge impact fees to developers.
The city charter does not allow impact fees, City Attorney Ginger Shofner said.
Bedford County charges an Adequate Facilities Tax on new residences countywide, including within Shelbyville, according to Shofner. Those fees are much higher than the city’s, with all proceeds going to the school system.
Turnbow asked if developers were adequately notified of the fees. Albakry said they have or will be posted on the city’s website. Turnbow said that wasn’t enough and urged the fee schedule be published in the Times-Gazette. Ewing also said the public needed more notification.
The fees were last increased around 2018, Albakry said.
Three Ford F150 trucks are to be purchased by the city through Tennessee statewide contracts.
Proceeds from the city drug fund – money received through convicted drug dealers’ fines – will be used to buy a 2023 crew cab 4-wheel-drive pickup for Shelbyville Police Department’s Criminal Investigation (detective) Division. The truck, estimated to cost almost $55,000, will not cost taxpayers. The fund currently has $85,000.
Shelbyville Fire Department will be buying a 4-wheel-drive truck to be used by first responders, and Shelbyville Recreation Department will purchase a hard-to-find 2-wheel-drive truck, both from Lonnie Cobb Ford in Henderson which holds a statewide contract.
Alsup said he would like to switch the department to three-quarter-ton trucks because they “hold up better.” The recreation department’s truck will replace a 2008 Ford Ranger with 108,000 miles. Alsup noted two older full-size Ram pickups with higher mileage are in better condition.
Turnbow asked if there was a mileage limit on city-owned vehicles before disposal. Public Works Director Buck Vallad said city vehicles are used “till they fall apart.”
The police department will be selling a 2012 Honda Civic seized from a convicted drug suspect.
Swing Estates
A proposal for a 144-acre development, including 38 acres inside Shelbyville, off Union Street near Jostens, will be forwarded to Shelbyville Regional Planning Commission for further study.
Zoning changes
•Approval is being sought for rezoning 10 acres at the end of Calsonic Way, near the site of the new Cartwright Elementary School on Fairfield Pike, from low-density residential (R-2) to light industrial (I-1). The acreage, previously “landlocked,” will be used for an access road to the school, Albakry said.
Albakry also showed a map displaying a divided roadway with a median in front of the school’s location. Fairfield Pike is presently two-lane with no shoulders in that area, and concerns have been expressed about potential traffic issues.
•A proposal to rezone a portion of Sevier Street from general commercial (C-2) to medium/high density residential (R-3A) will be on the agenda.
“The east side of Sevier Street has been changing,” Albakry told the council.
A developer will “likely” request to build two 4-unit and one 2-unit apartment buildings on the property owned by Ben Livingston, Albakry said. The project has received a favorable recommendation from the planning commission.
Listening Project
Three members were named to the Bedford County Listening Project.
Council member Stephanie Isaacs, Shelbyville Power System board member Tristan Call, and city codes/zoning director Bryan Stevens will be joined by four other members chosen from names to be submitted next week.
City manager Scott Collins recommended against any other council members being chosen because state laws requiring public notifications of meetings would come into effect.
Fallen worker praised
Public Works Director Buck Vallad expressed praise and appreciation for the work of Randy Cunningham, a longtime employee of the public works department who died recently.
Cunningham suffered a stroke while on the job, Vallad said.
Grant sought
A grant application for a portable air refill device for Shelbyville Fire Department was approved at a special called meeting preceding the study session.
Fire Chief Matt Doak said a large fire at a mini-storage facility on Bethany Lane last fall proved the need for the purchase.
The city is asking for a $32,000 application with the Federal Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security for an Assistance to Firefighters Operation and Safety Grant, The city’s share, if approved, will be 10 percent or $3,120.21. Cost of the device is $31,302.14.The council voted 6-0 for approval of the application.