April 11, 2023 — Reedley City Council

Documented by Ntsa Iab Vang

Here’s what you need to know

  • The Reedley City Council met on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 to discuss and move forward the decision to redirect $2.2 million intended for Sports Park’s soccer fields to pickleball courts. The first 8.8 acres of the park has been used for soccer, football and youth baseball since its development. 
  • Many community members of the soccer league came to express their concerns about the changes. The representatives shared that the city is best known for its soccer league and the sport continues to grow, which will require more fields. “Youth soccer is a tool that we can utilize to keep children off the streets,” said Rick, a Reedley resident. Pickleball members were also present and shared that the fast- growing sport would bring revenue to the city.
  • The City Council voted to adopt Resolution No. 2023-022 to approve and authorize the city manager to enter a professional services agreement with Peters Engineering Group. The professional engineering design services are intended for the Reedley Sports Park North Fields Improvement Project.


  • Mary Fast, council member 
  • Matthew Tuttle, mayor Pro Tem
  • Scott Friesen, council member 
  • Anita Bentacourt, mayor
  • Suzanne Byers, council member 

Follow-up questions

  • If the city follows up with putting in pickleball courts, will there be limited access to the public? Will tournaments affect casual sports players?
  • Will Reedley Community College allow soccer players to continue using its field while construction is occurring on the campus?


  • Unidos Por Salud – Activities Related to Youth Anti-Smoking and Vaping Campaigns
  • Reagen, youth coordinator, shared that Unidos Por Salud encourages the youth to participate in group activities to strengthen their lifestyle. The nonprofit organization has emphasized tobacco awareness and prevention.
  • Youth Summer Unit – A program for youth ages 13 to 18.
  • Prop 31 – Prohibit the retail sale of certain flavored tobacco products.

Administrative Business

  • Item 9: Consider a request from a member of the public on March 28 to redirect $2.2 million intended for sports park soccer fields to multiple pickleball courts.
    • Infrastructure includes: designing, engineering, lighting, water, storm drainage, sewer, sidewalk construction.
    • City manager Nicole Zieba said the proposed pickleball court changes are based on public need, which was first brought to the city’s attention in 2016. A soccer field was replaced with a basketball court, eight pickleball courts and space for visitors to set up their own volleyball court.
    • The 49-acre property was purchased in 2004, the master plan created in 2008.
    • Tuttle asked for clarifications on the master plan created in 2008. Tuttle asked the city manager to emphasize that the original budget increased from $2.14 million in 2016 to $2.2 million in 2023.
    • Byers asked whether other cities have made similar changes. Zieba said Dinuba recently built pickleball courts, which cost an estimated $900,000 for eight courts.
    • Tuttle said for financial reasons, the courts’ construction should be postponed until phase two of the master plan is completed.
    • Fast supported Tuttle’s comment and pointed out she was mayor when the parks master plan was being created.
      • No action was taken, the item was moved forward.
  • Item 10: Recommendation that the City Council adopt Resolution No. 2023-022 approving and authorizing the city manager to enter into a professional services agreement with Peters Engineering Group for professional engineering design services for the Reedley Sports Park North Fields Improvement Project.
    • The city prepared a request for proposal from interested firms to perform engineering design services for the Reedley Sports Park North Soccer Fields Improvement Project and received a response from three interested firms. 
    • The proposals were received, reviewed and scored by various staff members and the top two firms were interviewed by the city’s selection committee. The committee selected Peters Engineering Group to perform design consulting services. 
    • Staff is requesting that the city manager be granted authority to enter into a contract with Peters Engineering Group for a fee not to exceed $276,401 and an additional 10% contingency of $27,641.10 for any unforeseen design items, to bring the total appropriation request to $304,041.10. The consultant’s fees will be paid through the general fund.
      • Motion passed in a vote of 5-0. 
      • Mary Fast, Council member 
      • Matthew Tuttle, Mayor Pro Tem
      • Scott Friesen, Council member 
      • Anita Bentacourt, Mayor
      • Suzanne Byers, Council member

Public Hearing

  • Item 11: Public hearing regarding proposed amendments to certain departmental fees and charges for services in the citywide Master Fee Schedule.
    • The attached Master Fee Schedule is intended to include all fees currently charged by the city, although in some cases a fee may not be included if it is established by the state or otherwise stipulated in the Reedley Municipal Code. 
    • The following discussion summarizes proposed changes to fees by category or program area in the order in which they appear in the Master Fee Schedule – Proposed Fee Revisions:
      • Fire Department fees, Community Services programs, Community Development Department, Downtown Development Incentive Program, document fees, Development Impact Fees, engineering services, police fees, water and wastewater (sewer) utility rates and solid waste fees.

Information and Reports

  • Fast said that a Korean Youth Group from Los Angeles came to Reedley to see the Korean monument to learn about their 1950s heritage.
  • Byers shared that she attended the Sierra Kings Health District Board meeting to give her thanks for their support to Reedley. She said the board authorized funding and grants for swimming programs and senior training. 
  • Tuttle said that he participated in the Measure C meeting, which allocated fundings for the high speed rail. He said that microtransit will affect Reedley.

Public comments

  • A Reedley resident told the council that in 2008 the city was promised a visually pleasing park. Years later, a sport took over the entire field. He urged the council to be open minded for the community.
  • A resident named Michael said pickleball has been around for 60 years, but is new to Reedley. He said it doesn’t cost a lot to purchase your own equipment and tournaments allow players of all skill levels. He said pickleball allows seniors to stay active.
  • Resident Sandy told the council there is a large group of tax-paying community members whose opinions and interests are never considered – the senior citizens of Reedley. Sandy began playing pickleball a year ago and she said the sport allows seniors to be physically and socially active.
  • Suzanne Fitzgerald also spoke up in support of pickleball. She said it’s the fastest growing sport in America, and will bring in revenue for Reedley as it encourages people to participate, watch tournaments and would attract visitors. 
  • Vicky Mendoza, a member of the Reedley Youth Soccer League board, said each year approximately 75-150 new players join the league, and as the league continues to grow, more fields will be needed. 
  • Gabby Rodriguez, a parent to soccer players, pointed out that soccer is a worldwide sport. She said the league has 12 teams, which is approximately 300 athletes. She said soccer has been a lifeline for many children. “The league is growing yearly, and it is also outgrowing the field,” said Rodriguez, a Reedley resident.
  • Reedley resident Rick said he grew up playing soccer and has many younger family members who participate in the sport. He said Reedley has been known for soccer and he advocated for future children. “Youth soccer is a tool that we can utilize to keep children off the streets,” he said.
  • Tim Fujioka, a pickleball instructor, said classes are continuing to be filled, with many more people being put on a waiting list. He said the sport has been growing over the past few years and continues to do so.

The meeting adjourned at 9:26 p.m. 

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