FOLEY – Plans are moving ahead to open nine city pickleball courts in Foley later this year.

The courts will be built on city property north of the Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market and east of Koniar Way.

The City Council voted Monday, April 15, to approve funding for road construction providing access to the site. The council also approved going out to bid to build the courts.

David Thompson, Foley executive director for leisure services, said money from impact fees will pay the cost of building the courts. Impact fees are cost charged to new development to pay for increased demand for services created by the construction.

“This is with impact fee dollars. This is why we collect impact fee dollars, to expand our recreational opportunities,” Thompson said. “We are building nine courts but we’re also building sidewalks that go with that and a buffer to make sure that it fits in with what we’re doing with the Farmers Market.”

He said the project should be ready to go out to bid by summer 2024 and completed later in the year.

Thompson said city officials are going over plans for the site in order to see if some costs can be cut. 

“We want to look back at what has been proposed and see if we can scale back a little bit. We’re gonna look at trying to save some of the costs,” Thompson said 

He said the road project will be paid with money from the city General Fund. Money from impact fees cannot be used for road construction.

“The road is separate. That’s out of the General Fund,” Thompson said.

He said some of the road construction work was done by city Street Department crews, but the final part of the project will be put out to bid. That work includes the parking lot for the courts, paving and water detention work.