At the last Scottsboro City Council work session, held on Monday, July 18, 2022, Scottsboro City Schools boardmember Jason Allen Williams was presented with a certificate of election since he will be running for re-election unopposed in the upcoming Scottsboro municipal election. The election will take place on Tuesday, August 23, 2022.
Also present at the meeting was Jim Olyniec, who proposed a possible pickleball complex for the city of Scottsboro that would be located off of Heroes Drive, centrally located near the tennis courts, walking trail and ball fields. Olyniec also presented a brief schematic, highlighting six courts, with possibility for an additional six, a pavilion with restrooms, landscaping on one side of the courts for the possible installment of bleachers and a 24-foot wide common area in-between the courts, leaving three courts on either side. Olyniec also highlighted the fencing criteria, as the outer fencing would need to be eight feet high with wind screens, which would be vital as the pickleball is about the size of a softball and like a wiffle ball, contains holes and is lightweight.
Another point Olyniec made was how pickleball allows for socializing, stating the new complex would allow spectators, or players waiting for their turn, to bring their chairs or little pop up tents to congregate in the common area and watch the games or visit with one another. The proposed pavilion would also offer more shade for those wanting to sit out of the sun.
With Olyniec was Blake Wright, who stated he has been playing the sport almost three years now, and each Thursday they meet to play, he has competitors of all ages, from their 20s, all the way up to their 80s.
USA Pickleball states, “Most of pickleball’s core players – those who play more than eight times per year – are over age 65, but the game is getting younger, with the strongest growth among players under 55.”
It was also stated the sport has less impact on the joints in comparison to tennis and basketball and doesn’t require as drastic physical exertion.
According to npr.org, pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the United States, with an estimated 4.8 million players and two national professional tournaments. As far as local tournaments, surrounding communities close to home have also hosted multiple tournaments, including Albertville.
In most of the local tournaments, over visitors have come into those municipalities, impacting the local economy, adding to its revenue by the thousands.
“Municipalities nationwide are trying to meet the demand for pickleball venue – so many that USA Pickleball is putting together a toolkit for community planners with guidelines and cost estimates for building courts.” – npr.org.
The proposed pickleball complex is estimated to run less than $400,000, according to Olyniec, who high-balled most of the estimates. Olyniec also stated he has obtained quotes from several places and that the City of Scottsboro would handle the prep work, the Water, Sewer & Gas Board will be donating the piping and fees for the sewer and water lines, the electric power board is installing all the site electrical, including lights, and the engineering and construction management will be donated by himself.
“What we’re requesting,” stated Olyniec, “is your consideration and approval and budgeting of the project so that it can be constructed.”
Councilmembers moved this item to be considered at the next work session, allowing them to mull it over the next two weeks before discussing again.
Pickleball can be found at the tennis courts on Thursday nights in Scottsboro, just off Heroes Drive, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Beginners are welcome as are skill sets of all levels. There are also extra paddles. Call Jim Olyniec at 256.599.3457 for more information.
An opioid settlement resolution was also heard. A couple of years ago, 50 states and hundreds of cities and counties across the United States joined a class action lawsuit against opioid makers for the way they marketed and sold their products. There are now hundreds of plaintiffs and several thousand defendants worldwide. The state and the city joined in litigation against the opioid producers, and this refers to the settlement with two of the defendants.
City Attorney Stephen Kennamer stated, “There’s been a settlement with one opioid defendant [previously]. The State of Alabama has just negotiated two additional settlements. One with McKisson Company and one with J&J totaling approximately $212,000,000 which will be split between the state and approximately 150 subdivisions of the state. I think the gross amount for the city in the last [the last settlement for Scottsboro] was $88,000. I’m not sure what the city will get out of these two particular settlements.”
Kennamer continued, “They have, through our lawyers, enclosed a resolution which will authorize Whitney [City Clerk Whitney Phillips] to sign and be the contact person when other settlements come through – several hundred other defendants or potential defendants – and they are anticipating that there will be, over a period of time, a number of settlements and some very quickly. So, the resolution basically gives the clerk the authority to acknowledge these settlements and sign for them.”
This means the Council will be agreeing to join with the State in settling all claims with the two defendants.
The Council moved this to the next week’s meeting.
In preparation for the municipal election, council members discussed a resolution establishing the use of electronic vote counting devices, the rate of pay for election officials and the appointing of election officials, of whose names were on a list provided to Council. All three resolutions were moved to the next meeting for a vote.
A representative from Main Street of Scottsboro presented an invoice for a faulty irrigation system repair at the square. The flowers in the hanging baskets around the square recently perished in the heat, bringing the irrigation repairs to $3,190. Council also moved this to the next meeting.
Finally, there is a vacancy on the Main Street Scottsboro Board. Anyone interested should apply in writing to Main Street Director Katie Kirkland by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, August 1, 2022.