BISBEE — Taking a good look at the city-owned retaining walls around Old Bisbee and developing a priority list has been a focus of Jesus Haro, Bisbee’s public works director.

During Monday’s special meeting of the mayor and city council, he asked for approval of a service agreement with The WLB Group for $6,850 to assess and design a drainage wall on Okay St. behind El Dorado Suites.

Haro noted the wall also adjoined a walkway in need of repair which crosses a drainage channel.

Mayor David Smith and Councilmembers Anna Cline, Bill Higgins and Louis Pawlik approved the contract.

Councilmembers Joan Hansen, Leslie Johns and Joni Giacomino were absent, but had indicated they would not be able to attend the special meeting. They were excused.

The acceptance of a donation of six-foot-high windscreens from Bisbee Vogue, Inc.,(BVI), to be installed at the pickleball court at Higgins Park was on the agenda again, but no vote was taken.

According to the USAPA, the official website for the sport, pickleball is fun activity for doubles or singles that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It is played indoors and outdoors on a badminton-size court with a paddle, which is larger than a ping pong paddle but smaller than a tennis racket, and a plastic ball with holes.

Haro said the Parks and Recreation Committee agreed to the screens, with a life expectancy of 20 years, being up from March through May, what they perceived as the windiest months. Public Works staff would install and maintain them as long as they remain in good condition.

However, BVI board of directors wanted them up year-round due to the windy nature of the area and would not donate them if it would only be for the three months the committee preferred.

Speaking for all pickleball players and representing the BVI board of directors, Linda Moore explained the windscreens were donated to BVI for the city’s courts. Since the ball used in the game is very light, wind affects its play. She also acknowledged winds could still affect play, even with the screens up.

“I do understand the Parks and Recreation Committee expressed their opinions of the screens as unseemly, unattractive and could block the vision of the park,” she said.

She suggested putting them up as an experiment to see just how intrusive on the landscape they would be.

She said there are 40 players and the popular sport is growing in the city and with the wind screens up, it could be possibly be played for all 12 months of the year.

“Then, if there are a lot of complaints, and people can’t see the park, or whatever, then we would take them down.” Moore suggested. “They really aren’t that bad. And they would help the Bisbee pickleball players. With the screens up, people could play more often. It would be a nice thing for the city.”

Hansen is the council liaison for the Parks and Recreation Committee and knowing she would not be able to attend the special meeting, she asked if the item could be pulled a second time, Smith said. Though he could not pull the agenda item again as he did at the Aug. 6 meeting, he asked it be tabled until the next regular meeting.

Pawlik said he attended the Parks and Recreation Committee meeting, but he has several questions he wants answered before making a decision.

The council tabled the item until the next regular meeting to be held on Tuesday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. in the council chambers.

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