BY MIKE McCARTHY | MIRROR EDITOR — The Maumee Parks & Recreation Committee met on May 24 to discuss the addition of pickleball courts at two Maumee parks and to view conceptual renderings of a new inclusive playground at the Maumee Library Park.
Present at the meeting were committee chairman Jon Fiscus and committee members Philip Leinbach and Jim MacDonald (via phone), all of whom serve on Maumee City Council. Also present at the meeting were Dr. Patrick Burtch, the Maumee city administrator; Jennifer Harkey, the Maumee finance director; Gabe Barrow, city council member; Holly Farthing, Rolf Pool manager; Sara Eiden, Maumee Indoor Theater manager; and Maumee residents Jack Baessler and Dave Poeppelmeier.
The first item for discussion was exploring the potential for adding pickleball courts on the site of the unused tennis court at Anderson Park. Barrow provided a detailed report of his discussion with a local contractor who has provided the city with an estimate for the project.
Leinbach expressed his concern that the only available parking would be along the adjoining neighborhood streets. While the original plans called for the design of four pickleball courts, the committee realized that parking was an issue and, after some discussion, came to the consensus that two courts would be a more realistic solution.
Chairman Fiscus made the motion to recommend the construction of two pickleball courts at Anderson Park, pending feedback from the public. Leinbach seconded the motion, and it was carried by a 3-0 vote.
(Editor’s Note: At its June 5 meeting, Maumee City Council authorized the city administrator to allocate up to $50,000 for the conversion of the tennis courts to pickleball courts at Anderson Park.)
Rolf Park Pool
The next item on the agenda was a discussion of the Rolf Park pool rules. The first matter of discussion concerned the possibility of pool party rentals for the 2023 season. Several possible ideas were discussed; however, it was determined that due to the high costs and the need for many additional employees to staff the pool, it wasn’t feasible to offer pool rentals during the 2023 season.
A discussion was then held regarding the fee structure of the pool, and it was determined that the finance director and the city administrator would develop a fee schedule to present to Maumee City Council for approval.
After the agenda items were discussed, Baessler inquired about the status of the Maumee Library Park plans. Burtch informed him that the city is waiting for the final illustrations and then fundraising efforts will begin. Preliminary drawings of the park plans were shown to those in attendance.
The meeting was then adjourned.
Maumee Library Park
During the past week, The Mirror obtained copies of the conceptual drawings for Maumee Library Park from Burtch.
The park plans call for the construction of an inclusive playground, two pickleball courts, a tennis court, a basketball court and new public restrooms.
The capacity of the Maumee Branch Library parking lot will be supplemented by additional on-street diagonal parking on Jackson Street.
“It’s very exciting to see this plan for Library Park to begin to come into focus,” commented Fiscus. “The process of evaluating each of our parks began last summer, so being able to see some of these ideas begin to take shape is encouraging. This is the first major improvement to any of our parks in several years.
“One of the great things about this reimagining of Library Park is that it will include an inclusive play area that will allow children of all abilities to enjoy the park,” Fiscus added.
“One of the tennis courts will be converted to two pickleball courts to accommodate the interest that has been expressed to the city for this growing sport,” Fiscus stated. “Also, the now unused building will be renovated to allow for public restrooms. Additional angled street parking will be added as well.”
The city has been in the process of seeking federal grants to help with the construction of the park and is hoping to raise a significant portion of the remaining costs through fundraising efforts, Fiscus explained. “A fundraising committee is being formed and anyone who is interested in being part of that group is encouraged to reach out to the city,” Fiscus concluded.
According to Fiscus, the city has set up a 501(c)(3) fund to accept donations for the park improvements. For further information, or to donate, please call the city offices at (419) 897-7100 or visit the city website at www.maumee.org.