BY LOUISE R. SHAW
Clipper Staff Writer
KAYSVILLE — The ball is in the city council’s court now, after tennis lovers of all ages served up a multitude of reasons for city-owned-and-maintained tennis courts.
Some cited the city’s support for other sports; some cited residents’ needs for activities promoting fitness. The history of the city’s existing courts and travel time to courts in neighboring cities were also part of the equation.
The council was mostly sympathetic to the request for courts.
Finding financing for the improvements was a concern of other council members.
Most residents who spoke expressed interest in rebuilding the two courts at Gailey Park, which have been locked since 2009 due to safety concerns.
Others supported adding more courts in larger parks such as Barnes Park, where they could feature lighting at night.
Brighton Walker spearheaded the drive to rally support for courts.
After contacting Parks and Recreation supervisor Vance Garfield, she learned that Bountiful has 23 courts, Layton has 16, Farmington has 10, Clearfield has four and Sunset has two. Fruit Heights and Kaysville have no city-sponsored courts.
The courts at Davis High are very often in use by teams and for classes, according to many who addressed the council.
In contrast, Walker said the city has 18 soccer fields and 14 baseball fields.
Walker started a Facebook page and soon had 258 supporting her drive.
“Many people wanted to know how to help,” she said.
The council meeting drew over 100 of them, some holding balls, others waving rackets.
Jeff Neville offered the city $3,000 toward rebuilding the Gailey courts. Steve Brown, a 13-year-old, showed with a swing of his arm how big bellies can grow if people don’t have a place to exercise.
Ryan Oram said tennis had taught him discipline and hard work and other life lessons.
Kim Moody said her husband’s grandfather, Harold Gailey, who donated the land for the park, would have loved to have the courts back, something Garfield confirmed.
“It was one of his desires to have tennis at the place he and his wife, Louise, donated,” said Garfield.
It was the economic recession that made it necessary to prioritize improvements and delay the tennis courts’ reconstruction, said Garfield.
The parks and recreations department will ask for $110,000 in city funds from next year’s budget to rebuild the courts, he said.
“Parks and Rec is totally behind getting this amenity into this city,” said Garfield.