Opinion

MPCSD Foundation, City of MP to receive $2k from county in support of pickleball courts

City of Salem seeks tax sale certificate of property they worked to clean up

Henry County supervisors approved a resolution Thursday making official their pledge of $2,000 to the Mt. Pleasant Community School District Foundation and the City of Mt. Pleasant for the construction of pickleball courts at Mt. Pleasant Middle School.

Supervisors approved pledging $2,000 for pickleball courts in February and approved a resolution during a Board of Supervisors meeting on Thursday, July 11, to make it clear their contribution is to assist the Foundation and the city in applying for a Community Action and Tourism (CAT) grant from the Enhance Iowa Program.

“We are needing the grants we are applying for to really finish this off,” said Adam Smith, teacher at Mt. Pleasant Middle School and member of the Pickleball Committee. “Any funding we get will get us closer to construction.”

In addition to the CAT grant, the Pickleball Committee is also applying for a Wellmark grant. Between the two they think they could receive between $16,000 and $25,000. The Pickleball Committee has received $31,000 of private pledges toward the project.

“That’s the beauty of this whole thing,” said John Roederer, member of the Pickleball Committee, “We’ve got so many people from the commits who have pledged toward this project.”

The tennis courts at Mt. Pleasant Middle School at 400 North Adams Street were torn out earlier this summer by Braun Construction at the request of the Mt. Pleasant Community School District. Shive-Hattery is working to design pickleball courts for that area, redesigning where the tennis courts used to be into a green space for the middle school marching band and P.E. classes and building six pickleball courts next to the field.

Smith said the footprint of six pickleball courts is smaller than the two tennis courts.

Supervisors also spoke with Salem city attorney Pat Brau on Thursday about transferring a tax sale certificate on a property on Franklin Avenue in Salem from the county to the city of Salem.

Salem has spent a couple of thousand dollars cleaning the property, where a house twice burned down, Brau said. Salem would like to receive the tax sale certificate from the county, so they can sell the property and be reimbursed.

“The city has spent a lot to get it cleaned up,” said Shelly Barber, Henry County Auditor. “Hopefully they can get the money back they’ve spent to clean it up when they sell it.”

There is a tax sale certificate on the property because the owner died around 14 years ago and left no heirs, Barber said. The city has taken on the expense of cleaning up the property, but the city still holds the tax sale certificate because no one else ever stepped up to purchase the property.

Joe Buffington, planning and zoning administrator for Henry County, said that the county can easily assign the tax sale certificate to the city for a $10 reassignment fee.

Supervisors will put the item on a future Board of Supervisors agenda to approve transferring the tax sale certificate.