BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The much-anticipated Fort Madison Pickleball courts will get a boost from a cookout fundraiser Friday night from 4 to 7 p.m. to help offset costs associated with its quarter-million dollar effort.
The group, working under the umbrella of the Fort Madison Beautification Foundation, is raising funds to build six new pickleball courts in Victory Park on the site of the former tennis ball courts.
The tennis courts in Victory Park were refurbished in 2015, but the work didn’t last very long and the court itself, which was an overlay, began to ripple quickly and the courts became unusable.
Efforts began within the city park board to either refurbish the tennis courts properly or abandon them for other options.
Fort Madison City Councilwoman Donna Amandus is part of the group spearheading the effort. She said preliminary estimates indicate the work will cost about $250,000 and the committee began fundraising.
The group received half of the funding through a $75,000 commitment from Southeast Iowa Regional Riverboat Commission and $50,000 from the city.
They also held a fundraiser in Riverview Park where they set up pickleball courts to residents to try the sport.
Crews have already taken down trees and the fencing around the former tennis courts and pulled up the foundation. A new subsurface has been put down and a ground breaking ceremony is set for Monday, June 20 at 1 p.m.