Construction of CW pickleball courts delayed


By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Canal Winchester pickleball players have to wait a little longer to play on home courts following a construction bid opening where only one bid was received and it was much higher than estimated.

The more than $823,000 lone bid for the multi-court project, including lighting and parking, was considerably larger than expected Construction Services Director Bill Sims said during the Sept. 5 Canal Winchester City Council meeting.

Sims said his department is recommending not awarding the bid at this time, given the financial numbers they received.

“It will give us a chance to compare bid costs with estimate costs,” said Sims in discussing the engineer’s original $750,000 estimate for the McGill Park project. “Electric costs were much higher than anticipated. Fencing costs were much higher than anticipated. We saw costs for specific items up as well. There was some concern with the time restraint setting asphalt down by the end of the year and having courts open by mid-May. That played a part in the number of bids we saw.”

Sims is considering taking a second look at costs, making adjustments and going out for bid again later this year, but moving the completion date to mid-July in 2024.

“It’s a little bit of a delay, but our expectation is to see more bids and more realistic pricing,” said Sims.

When asked what other communities are doing in addressing the pickleball craze, Sims said that Lancaster had no bidders in their first round and only one in their second round.

“They’re searching for a way to bring about courts,” Sims said. “They’re probably looking at similar options like we are.”

Other CW news
Human Services Director Aletha Mullins reported on the organization’s transportation program and the need to increase city funding for programming.

“The main outreach the city funds is senior transportation,” said Mullins regarding transporting residents age 60 and older to appointments Monday through Friday at no cost.

“No other city around offers such a program that is completely free to their residents. This is something that makes Canal Winchester unique,” said Mullins.

Mullins requested a 15 percent increase in Human Services’ agreement with the city, which equates to $9,464 for 2024. She also asked for a three percent increase in subsequent years to keep up with inflation costs.

The last increase was six years ago.

“In 2017, we employed three drivers and currently employ seven who all work part time,” said Mullins. “We would like to increase their hourly rate (currently $11 to $13.21 per hour). Fuel costs in 2023 were up 59 percent due to rising fuel costs and increases in the number of appointments.”

Council President Chuck Milliken thanked Mullins for “running a tight ship” and always having information ready for council.

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