Pickleball is a fast-growing sport here on the Northern Neck, and many players of the sport can be found in Westmoreland County. A relative of badminton, pickelball is a game enjoyed for its social aspect, as well as its promotion of physical fitness, particularly among senior citizens. The sport cropped up at last week’s meeting of the Montross Town Council after Carolyn Barranca, the Pickleball Evangelist, sent a letter to Mayor Cosgrove.
As mentioned in other articles, there’s quite a bit of buzz going on with regards to the plans for the new park, and in this case, Barranca was hoping to convince Cosgrove and the rest of the Town Council to put a court or two on the proposed site.
“We maintain that for sheer popularity and sports activity, you could not find a better use for that property,” the letter stated, “Pickleball brings enthusiastic players from all over not only to play, but to eat at the local restaurants and support the businesses in Montross. Imagine the benefit to Montross should a new pickleball center be constructed right in the center of town.”
Mayor Cosgrove was quick to pour cold water on the possibility of using the proposed park space for a pickleball court, as there were other ideas already being drawn up for it.
“That wasn’t really the intent of that park,” Cosgrove explained, “The intent of that park is more of an outdoor green space.”
However, the Mayor was not averse to the idea of having some pickleball courts in the town, and much discussion was spent in the latter half of the Town Council’s meeting discussing the matter.
“So I took a look around with Patricia,” the Mayor continued, “We took a look at the tennis court we used to have here behind the water tower. This is nowhere near a done deal, however, I just wanted to make you aware of something I was working on, and might come back to you with a proposal. But we have this money that came in, and there are some parameters for how we can use it, such as getting people outdoors.”
The plot of land that used to house a tennis court is particularly ideal in this regard, since it’s already owned by the town, is already graded, and is about the right size for two pickleball courts.
Costs are the main mystery at this time, as Mayor Cosgrove indicated that he was not sure what it would cost to lay down that much asphalt, as well as sealing it and painting all the zones in. While figuring out details of the location may be tricky, it’s clear that the idea is music to the Town Council’s ears.
“I think there’s a partnership opportunity there,” Cosgrove concluded, “I kind of like the idea of providing something, and maybe if we got into it and saw there was space, I think that might be a good place for it. There’s a sizeable area in front of the water tower cage, I don’t think we’d have to worry about parking. We could do a wood chip trail back to the courts.”
“Parking is something we’d need to think about,” Councilor Wittman chimed in, “because, if it’s seniors that are focused on it, you’ll want them to have a safe path to walk on.”
“We’d probably want to see the usage first,” Cosgrove replied, “If there are three cars back there at a time, it’s not much of an issue.”
Overall, Mayor Cosgrove and the Town Council are certainly more than happy to work towards adding a pickelball court or two to the town, and using the old tennis court would allow the town to make use of another space that’s been allowed to go unused for a good while. At present though, property lines need to be figured out before anything else can be worked through, as well as seeing what the rest of the community thinks. It will probably be a bit before any developments are heard of.