SARTELL -- After a year long conversation, the Sartell City Council plans to remove a public basketball court which sits in the heart of a residential neighborhood.

Last summer, the full basketball sport-court located in The Wilds neighborhood, was a topic of discussion after the city received several complaints from neighbors due to the increase number of people using the courts during the pandemic.

Council member Tim Elness says while there has been basketball court in that neighborhood for years, it wasn't until they made the significant upgrades to the court, that turned it from a neighborhood park to a regional draw.

We over built an amenity in a park that is not designed to handle it or not in the right place in that park. I think as a city we over stepped our boundaries, and over built an amenity that we don't have to take out, we are just moving it to a better spot that can handle the traffic.

Several residents addressed the council voicing their opinions both for and against keeping the court in the neighborhood.

During Monday's council meeting, the council ultimately voted to relocate the basketball court to Pinecone Central Park as part of their overall park improvement plan

Council member Jeff Kolb says with no real solutions over the past year, it was best to move the amenity to a new area.

I was hoping over the last year and a half, someone would come up with an idea that would work, but no one has. We looked at many opportunities and solutions but nothing work. We can't keep this harassment or nuisance issue here, it has to be removed.

The move of the court would cost roughly $50,000. There would also be additional costs to add new lighting around the court.

As for Wild's park, the city does plan to upgrade the playground equipment with the use of a playground grant. The new equipment would be installed next spring.

At this time it's unknown if a different basketball court will return to the neighborhood, but the council will continue to look at other amenities to add to Wild's park.


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