Lake Elmo discusses future volleyball courts

A new volleyball court may be coming to Lake Elmo, but the city council wants to make sure it’s built where all residents can enjoy it.

The Lake Elmo Park Commission presented a resolution Aug. 5 asking for authorization to build two sand volleyball courts at Pebble Park, located at 8160 Lake Jane Trail. The volleyball courts are part of the commission’s 2014 comprehensive plan, and the second phase in the Pebble Park renovation. The proposed construction costs are approximately $20,000.

“After doing some research, the park commission found that the cost of a volleyball court is about $10,000, so they have asked for no more than $20,000 to complete the project,” said Alyssa MacLeod, communications coordinator for the city.

Members of the city council were concerned about authorizing the construction, not because of the cost but because they feared the courts wouldn’t be used.

“Why in Pebble Park and not downtown in Lion’s Park where they could be used by more people,” Councilmember Anne Smith asked. “Pebble Park is an out-of-the-way neighborhood park.”

“Once the improvements are made to Pebble Park, we see it as becoming adestination park that people will want to go to,” MacLeod said.

During a Pebble Park community meeting earlier this summer, MacLeod said, residents responded positively to the plans for park improvements.

The council has already authorized some improvements. On July 1 the council voted to approve the construction of new play equipment and the construction of a picnic shelter. The volleyball courts are part of the overall plan for Pebble Park, and the park commission decided to move the construction of the courts to 2014.

“I want to be sold why Pebble Park should be the one that we build these courts on, and not Lion’s Park that is closer to downtown restaurants,” Councilmember Justin Bloyer said.

The Parkland Dedication Fund, which is created with fees charged when a new home is built, has a balance of about $800,000. This fund can only be used on parks and trails in Lake Elmo.

The council voted to send the resolution back to the park commission and asked for more discussion on whether Pebble Park is the right location for these courts.

“We might find out that we should build volleyball courts in several parks,” Smith said.

Contact Alicia Lebens at [email protected]