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Mayor puts Trussville pickleball courts project on pause following opposition

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 9:53 PM CDT
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TRUSSVILLE, Ala. (WBRC) -- Trussville city leaders are looking for a place to build some new pickleball courts after their original plans caused controversy.

Originally, they planned to build them on the green space in front of the Trussville Senior Activity Center off Cherokee Drive near the Trussville Sports Complex.

The mayor made the decision to pause the project on June 22 after hearing from many people that were against the location. Some residents wanted to keep that green space clear and green.

Mayor Buddy Choat said when he started hearing about the opposition, he thought only a handful of people were concerned, but then he started hearing from more and more.

He was pretty surprised by the number of people speaking out after the city put up fencing where it planned to build new pickleball courts.

Now, signs can be found hung on the fence, showing the opposition to the potential build.

“We have some passionate folks, as we are a community, about protecting the Cahaba River and our greenways and things like that,” said Mayor Choat. “Then it really started the outpouring of: ‘We’re not against pickleball courts, we’re against where it is.’”

He says for well over a year, the city has searched for a space to add more courts after the game became so popular in the area.

“We had two tennis courts that we converted to pickleball courts,” he said. “That proved to be so popular... The demand was more than the supply of what we had.”

The mayor says adding 12 more courts would cost around a million dollars, but luckily they received a grant to cover the cost in full.

The plan was approved by city council last week, on June 14. By the end of the week, fences were put up blocking off the green space. That’s when he started hearing from more residents and pickleball players.

“One thing that took me back was some of our pickleball players who had told us that 12 would be plenty said that site wasn’t big enough,” said the Mayor. “They were looking for a place where they could expand and have more. That’s the first I heard about it.”

With all the opposition, the mayor put the project on pause.

“We listened to the people,” said Mayor Choat. “We have opposition a lot of times on projects, to be quite honest with you. But at the end of the day, if it’s good for Trussville, then it’s a win for everybody.”

Now, it’s back to the drawing board to find a new space, and at this point there is no set timeline.

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