Canby City Council Takes Swing at Pickleball

Pickleball fans, rejoice! Pickleball — a hybrid of tennis, badminton and ping pong, and by some accounts the fastest-growing sport in America — is coming to Canby.

The Canby City Council on Wednesday approved on first reading plans to build a tournament-ready suite of four regulation-size pickleball courts at North Maple Street Park for the low bid of $395,000 by R.L. Reimers Co.

R.L. Reimers operates out of a newly constructed facility in the Canby Pioneer Industrial Park and just recently successfully completed a major renovation at the Canby Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The latest project also includes lighting, fencing, benches between the existing splash pad and the new pickleball courts, and a second gazebo at the site.

Courtesy the City of Canby.

The possibility of bringing pickleball to Canby has been in the works since at least 2019, when the council agreed to demolish the city’s aging tennis courts to make way for the new spray park.

At the time, city officials said the tennis courts would be rebuilt in a new location at Maple Street Park, but the conversation gradually shifted to pickleball based on input from residents and the Canby Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

Pickleball — essentially, life-size table tennis — is an exceedingly popular activity in the United States, particularly with older adults, according to City Administrator Scott Archer.

“It’s a very popular activity, so I think it will be well-utilized locally,” said Archer, whose professional background was largely in parks development and administration before joining the City of Canby in November. “And I also think it will end up being a draw for people to come in from out of town. I think there will be tournaments and that sort of thing.”

Courtesy the City of Canby.

The project will be financed with park maintenance fees, system development charge (SDC) funds — which are fees paid for by developers and earmarked for certain infrastructure uses — and private donations.

Archer said one Canby resident, business owner and pickleball enthusiast made a donation of $25,000 to help move the project forward, though he wishes to remain anonymous for the time being.

“I’m not prepared to say that name just yet.” Archer told the City Council last week. “I’m encouraging this individual to come forward and be recognized at a City Council meeting. He’s being very modest and just wants to support this endeavor and help promote this.”

The project will come up for second reading on Aug. 4.

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