By Jessica Mathews/

A special meeting has been called to possibly finalize a patio improvement and pickleball project at the Hamburg Township Senior Center after some back and forth between board members.

Proposed upgrades include two pickleball courts being installed, which was said to be a growing sport amongst the senior community and there’s been a lot of talk and a desire to get some courts close to the building. It was noted that the popularity might generate demand for more courts elsewhere in the township park area but two courts is the maximum amount that can go in logistically on the grounds of the center.

Some patio improvements are also planned. It was stated the outdoor patio at the center rarely gets used and was described as “not very inviting”. There’s a general desire to get seniors outside more but also due to the pandemic. A brick wall would be taken down and the shuffleboard court that never gets used would be removed to extend the patio surface out and allow for outdoor seating with tables and chairs and some landscaping. The goal is to get the project done this year.

Clerk Mike Dolan has been coordinating the project, which has been discussed with the Senior Advisory and Parks Committees over the past couple of years. He told the board he’s invested a lot of time in putting together different aspects of the project including meetings site visits, contractors and pricing – noting that finding contractors is a difficult task right now and they were lucky to find some that could actually do the work fairly quickly.

Some board members –namely Bill Hahn and Patricia Hughes – raised various questions about lighting, which is not proposed, and wanting a written contract to quantify costs. Hahn and Dolan went back and forth a bit, with Hahn calling it an awful discussion and wanting a more specific proposal than what was included in the board packet. Hahn commented that he didn't think it was appropriate for taxpayers in Hamburg to pay for a select few people that want to play pickleball – adding he knows it's a very popular but doesn't support it and wanted more information.

Dolan noted the courts would be an addition to the township park facilities for all residents to use. He maintained there was enough detailed information provided for the project. Dolan told Hahn that they were lucky to get bids with known contractors that have done work for the township before. He noted they need to get it approved soon to secure the contractors - commenting that Hahn had a complete and total lack of appreciation for the role he’s playing, what he has already done and what he’s willing to do - adding “you’ll get what you get and you can vote no if you choose to”.

Supervisor Pat Hohl ultimately suggested scheduling a quick special meeting for the sole topic and potential approvals, with Dolan providing the three written quotes from contractors to the board. The meeting is expected to be held on Monday at 1pm.