Pickleball Play At Kelly Park To Undergo No Changes For Now

May 22, 2024 at 9:35 p.m.
At the Warsaw Parks and Recreation Board meeting on Tuesday at Warsaw City Hall are from left Warsaw Parks and Recreation Department Maintenance Director Shaun Gardner, Warsaw Parks and Recreation Department Superintendent Larry Plummer, Board President Steve Haines, Vice President Larry Ladd and members Noemi Ponce and Jill Beehler. Photo by Leah Sander, InkFreeNews
At the Warsaw Parks and Recreation Board meeting on Tuesday at Warsaw City Hall are from left Warsaw Parks and Recreation Department Maintenance Director Shaun Gardner, Warsaw Parks and Recreation Department Superintendent Larry Plummer, Board President Steve Haines, Vice President Larry Ladd and members Noemi Ponce and Jill Beehler. Photo by Leah Sander, InkFreeNews

By Leah Sander, InkFreeNews

The Warsaw Parks and Recreation Board has opted for the time being to take no action on changes to pickleball play at Kelly Park.
At the board's meeting on Tuesday at Warsaw City Hall, resident Judy Heiman appeared again before the board. She lives near Kelly Park and had first complained at a meeting in September 2023 that the repetitive noise from pickleball play at the park affected her quality of life.
At her suggestion, the city hired a pickleball noise consultant for more than $1,000 to suggest solutions to lessen the sound. Results from that consultant, acoustics engineer Braxton B. Boren, with Pickleball Sound Mitigation Consulting LLC, were shared at Tuesday's meeting.
Boren's findings were that sound paneling installed along the south side of the courts would reduce the noise by 56 decibels to 48 decibels.
"This decibel level would fall between the (noise in a) quiet library and the typical office according to (the) report here," said Warsaw Parks and Recreation Department Superintendent Larry Plummer.
He said the sound paneling cost would be "between $10,000 to $15,000."
The board asked Heiman what she thought about the findings.

    All parks department employees won the Transformer Award for April. Photo Provided.
 
 

"I feel it was very comprehensive," she said. "I thought he did a very good job of explaining what I'm dealing with. I think it was addressed well from the scientific standpoint."
"The only issue I had with it is I thought his proposal on fixing it was kind of weak because I think at eight decibels, I'm here to tell you, reducing it eight decibels is not going to make it to the sound of a quiet library," said Heiman.
She reiterated the repetitiveness is what bothers her about the sound.
"I'm not trying to make this difficult for everybody. Believe me, I'm not," said Heiman. "It's just that I've got a home here that's been greatly affected by it."
She noted her backyard, where she spends time, is only 150 feet from the courts.
"The only way that we can get out of this or I can get out of it is going back to ... what I talked to you about ... on that restriction of play," said Heiman.
She noted she had heard in part of Florida where courts are close to homes play is restricted to only being during the day, ending at 6 p.m.
"While I'm extremely grateful and appreciative of the city doing this here, I'm still begging for the downtime on that court," said Heiman.
"We've hired a professional at your recommendation, am I correct?" asked Board Vice President Larry Ladd. "It seems like you're not going to be satisfied with what his recommendation was. It's all we've got to go with.
Board member Michelle Boxell asked what times Heiman wished to limit play.
Heiman said she would close the courts at 7 p.m. "so I still have some time in the evening I can go outside."
"The only thing that worries me is that if we limit the hours, next month we're going to have 10 pickleball players here raising Cain about having their hours shut off," said Board President Steve Haines. "We're talking about Florida. Well, 90% of the people down there are retired. Yeah, they can play during the day, but here a lot of these people work."
"Don't I have any rights in any of this?" asked Heiman.
"Well, you had the right to request (the study), which you did, and actually ... demanded it," responded Haines. "You recommended this guy, and we paid him to do a really thorough study, and I'm assuming he knows what he's talking about."
Heiman said the board could spend the money to install sound paneling, "but if it doesn't shut (the noise) down, I'll be back."
"Basically, what you're saying is that we can't make you happy," said Haines.
The board decided to table any decision if needed until a future meeting if the matter were to be brought up again. Heiman asked if the matter could be untabled right away, but was told the board had to move on to other meeting topics.
In other business, the board:
• Heard from Warsaw Parks and Recreation Department Maintenance Director Shaun Gardner that workers "have planted all the flowers in the downtown and park beds throughout town." He added buoys are out at the lakes, with the volleyball net up at Center Lake beach.
Heard from Warsaw Parks and Recreation Department Recreation Director Stephanie Schaefer that 92 people came out for the motherson dance on May 3. She noted parks' staff also had a booth at Main Street Warsaw's Third Friday last week to provide information about upcoming events and the skate park opened on May 18.
• Heard from Plummer that all parks' department employees had won the department's "Transformer Award" for April. "I thought to myself, there's no one person in our department that has transformed our department. It's been a collaboration of all of us that have lived up to our goals of communication, accountability and teamwork," he said. "Every individual in our department has contributed to the transformation of our department."
The board's next meeting is 5:15 p.m. June 18, at City Hall.

The Warsaw Parks and Recreation Board has opted for the time being to take no action on changes to pickleball play at Kelly Park.
At the board's meeting on Tuesday at Warsaw City Hall, resident Judy Heiman appeared again before the board. She lives near Kelly Park and had first complained at a meeting in September 2023 that the repetitive noise from pickleball play at the park affected her quality of life.
At her suggestion, the city hired a pickleball noise consultant for more than $1,000 to suggest solutions to lessen the sound. Results from that consultant, acoustics engineer Braxton B. Boren, with Pickleball Sound Mitigation Consulting LLC, were shared at Tuesday's meeting.
Boren's findings were that sound paneling installed along the south side of the courts would reduce the noise by 56 decibels to 48 decibels.
"This decibel level would fall between the (noise in a) quiet library and the typical office according to (the) report here," said Warsaw Parks and Recreation Department Superintendent Larry Plummer.
He said the sound paneling cost would be "between $10,000 to $15,000."
The board asked Heiman what she thought about the findings.

    All parks department employees won the Transformer Award for April. Photo Provided.
 
 

"I feel it was very comprehensive," she said. "I thought he did a very good job of explaining what I'm dealing with. I think it was addressed well from the scientific standpoint."
"The only issue I had with it is I thought his proposal on fixing it was kind of weak because I think at eight decibels, I'm here to tell you, reducing it eight decibels is not going to make it to the sound of a quiet library," said Heiman.
She reiterated the repetitiveness is what bothers her about the sound.
"I'm not trying to make this difficult for everybody. Believe me, I'm not," said Heiman. "It's just that I've got a home here that's been greatly affected by it."
She noted her backyard, where she spends time, is only 150 feet from the courts.
"The only way that we can get out of this or I can get out of it is going back to ... what I talked to you about ... on that restriction of play," said Heiman.
She noted she had heard in part of Florida where courts are close to homes play is restricted to only being during the day, ending at 6 p.m.
"While I'm extremely grateful and appreciative of the city doing this here, I'm still begging for the downtime on that court," said Heiman.
"We've hired a professional at your recommendation, am I correct?" asked Board Vice President Larry Ladd. "It seems like you're not going to be satisfied with what his recommendation was. It's all we've got to go with.
Board member Michelle Boxell asked what times Heiman wished to limit play.
Heiman said she would close the courts at 7 p.m. "so I still have some time in the evening I can go outside."
"The only thing that worries me is that if we limit the hours, next month we're going to have 10 pickleball players here raising Cain about having their hours shut off," said Board President Steve Haines. "We're talking about Florida. Well, 90% of the people down there are retired. Yeah, they can play during the day, but here a lot of these people work."
"Don't I have any rights in any of this?" asked Heiman.
"Well, you had the right to request (the study), which you did, and actually ... demanded it," responded Haines. "You recommended this guy, and we paid him to do a really thorough study, and I'm assuming he knows what he's talking about."
Heiman said the board could spend the money to install sound paneling, "but if it doesn't shut (the noise) down, I'll be back."
"Basically, what you're saying is that we can't make you happy," said Haines.
The board decided to table any decision if needed until a future meeting if the matter were to be brought up again. Heiman asked if the matter could be untabled right away, but was told the board had to move on to other meeting topics.
In other business, the board:
• Heard from Warsaw Parks and Recreation Department Maintenance Director Shaun Gardner that workers "have planted all the flowers in the downtown and park beds throughout town." He added buoys are out at the lakes, with the volleyball net up at Center Lake beach.
Heard from Warsaw Parks and Recreation Department Recreation Director Stephanie Schaefer that 92 people came out for the motherson dance on May 3. She noted parks' staff also had a booth at Main Street Warsaw's Third Friday last week to provide information about upcoming events and the skate park opened on May 18.
• Heard from Plummer that all parks' department employees had won the department's "Transformer Award" for April. "I thought to myself, there's no one person in our department that has transformed our department. It's been a collaboration of all of us that have lived up to our goals of communication, accountability and teamwork," he said. "Every individual in our department has contributed to the transformation of our department."
The board's next meeting is 5:15 p.m. June 18, at City Hall.

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