Port Neches nearing plan for pickleball courts

Published 12:14 am Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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PORT NECHES — Pickleball enthusiasts have reason to rejoice, as there is going to be a new place to play the sport in Port Neches.

The city’s two tennis courts adjacent to city hall are going to be converted to accommodate four pickleball courts, once final approval is made.

The plan began when the Port Neches Economic Development Corporation received calls from people requesting pickleball courts, according to Clint Fore, director of public works.

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The expenditure was approved at the PNEDC meeting March 26.

Then, the first of two resolutions was approved by city council Thursday for the expenditure of funds not to exceed $35,000 for the project. A second reading is planned at the May 2 council meeting.

Mayor Glenn Johnson said the tennis courts by city hall were built many years ago and are not being used much since Port Neches-Groves High School leaders built their own courts for students.

Some people, he added, have recently used the tennis courts for pickleball.

According to usapickleball.org, the game was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, Washington.

It is described as being like tennis, badminton and ping pong. The court is the same size as a doubled badminton court.

Pickleball courts are popping up around the area. The YCMA of Southeast Texas added pickleball courts, and a new restaurant coming to the Port Neches near the river would also have pickleball courts.

Port Neches City Manager Andre Wimer said the project includes resurfacing the whole court, then lining the court for pickleball and installing the nets.

Staff spoke Thursday with contractors regarding the project and are submitting the final drawings showing the locations of the courts within the perimeter of the area.

There is no set date for work to begin. Wimer said it would likely be some time after the city’s RiverFest event.

The four-day event is set for May 1 through May 5 at Port Neches Riverfront Park.