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Park & Rec mtg March 18 2024

Regular scheduled Park & Recreation meeting held March 18, 2024 in Ely, MN. Tonight was a citizen-focused meeting with frequent interaction of all Commissioners with presenters and Harold Langowski. Highlights with time markers:

2:50 Mary Mills and Nancy Hernesmaa requested the City paint or tape pickleball lines on floor in the Ely Rec Center. The Pickleball Club-lub would like to donate a net, paddles, balls and even time to teach kids how to play. The Club and/or individuals would donate. Discussion about times the Club could use facilities so as not to interfere with school kids and Rec Center. The Club was more interested in “shoulder times,” not summer season. Discussion about access to Rec Center, storage, types of nets, and security. Additional discussions followed about more outdoor courts and locations. The Pickleball Club has about 90 members in the summer, not including drop-ins. Motion to recommend painting of pickleball lines passed.

2:00 Adam Bisbee requested addition to the agenda: ad hoc committee would like the feasibility of a multi-purpose use dome project be pursued through Joint Powers.

23:30 Adam briefly explained the concept and uses of the multi-purpose recreational dome. He has talked with others including residents in nearby areas like Fall Lake Township (thinking of their own rec center) and the Open Communications public forum. The college is very interested. They would need approximately $30k-$40K for a feasiibilty study.

27:47 George Pond then spoke about what needed to be encompassed in the feasibility study. The dome would be absolutely valuable for the greater community.

29:52 Discussion followed about who might pay for the feasibility study and then the project. Which Joint Powers group, or ? The dome would attract visitors and benefit our surrounding townships, groups, VCC, schools, etc. Harold talked about the different Joint Powers organizations. Adam later mentioned support could possibly come from the Forest Service, FEMA and federal infrastructure funds.

31:04 Harold suggested best first steps to get Council support to working towards Joint Powers interest. You need to get all interested entities included. IRRRB would probably not fund the study but maybe (part of) the project. He suggested Park & Rec pass a motion for Council to direct him and maybe Kelly (City Atty) to investigate Joint Power options for the study/project. Passed.

37:25 Discussion about Comprehensive Plan. Commissioners will take info in tonight’s packet home as homework to study, and then discuss next meeting. Different locations, activities and buildings were mentioned, including girl’s softball.

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