Pickleball could be coming to the Blair center


Aug. 27, 2020

The fiscal court plans to resurface an old tennis court at the Jim Blair center to build an outdoor basketball court and hopes to also be able to add enough space for a pickleball court.

“I never heard about this until two weeks ago but I have had several calls about pickleball,” said County Judge Gale Cowan. One person told her more than 20 people meet each week in Russell County to play the sport, which is similar to tennis but has a lower net and players use a paddle instead of a tennis racket.

“It’s the fastest growing sport in America,” said court secretary Bridget Compton.

Cowan said she priced blacktopping the area with 1 inch blacktop and received a price from Gaddie Shamrock at $11,550.

Magistrates voted to proceed with the blacktopping.

Cowan said they have met with the electric company about possibly adding lighting completely around the walking track and parking area, and received an estimate of around $4,500.

However, Cowan said she thinks there was an issue in the past because of restrictions with an agreement with the senior center. They agreed to check on any restrictions and bring the issue up at the next meeting.

Also during a meeting held Tuesday by the fiscal court:

– The court approved opening the Blair Center for families to use the Wi-Fi to help with virtual learning. Adult supervision will be expected.

– Brett Farmer was hired as a 911 dispatcher at $9.60 an hour.

– A contract was approved with the Simpson County jail for them to house Adair County inmates when the Adair jail is short of isolation cells. The jail holds new inmates in isolation for two weeks due to COVID-19 restrictions, but an increased number of inmates has made it difficult to hold them in isolation.

– The court tabled a vote to fix cracks, seal and stripe the judicial center parking lot. Judge Cowan said she got estimates because prices fell lower than $2,500, which would have required going through a bidding process. The low offer came from EBA Sealcoating at $2,150. Cowan said the lowest quote came from a county employee.

Magistrate Daryl Flatt questioned if the bid included using hot tar, which was included in the next lowest bid. The court tabled the vote until the next meeting to clarify what products will be used.

– The court voted to approve a change order for work on a fire alarm system at the historic courthouse to make repairs needed from damage apparently caused by KU. The county’s insurance will file a claim with KU for the costs.

– The court approved easements on Rose Lane, Derby Drive and Winners Circle to allow the city to add natural gas lines on the right-of-way.

Magistrates Harold Burton, Daryl Flatt, Sammy Baker, Chris Reeder, Billy Coffey, Greg Caldwell and Terry Hadley were present for the meeting, which was held in the annex basement following social distancing guidelines.

By Sharon Burton


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