Should tennis courts be resurfaced?

by nathan oster

What to do with the tennis courts?

Mayor Bob Graham raised the question during Tuesday night’s meeting of the Greybull Recreation District board, and by the end of the discussion, board members were asking that the question be put to the community at large.

The tennis courts, located next to the South Big Horn Senior Center, are seldom used and in dire need of a new surface.

Graham said it’s a “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” type of question.  Are the tennis courts seldom used because of the condition of the playing surface? Or is it simply because tennis has run its course and is no longer as popular as it once was?

Graham said the town has been told it would cost $28,000 to $35,000 to resurface the tennis courts.  Complicating matters is the fact that the tennis courts were constructed with state parks and rec dollars, meaning that the town is obligated to maintain the courts in perpetuity.

“We have to support it,” he said.

The senior center has expressed interest in the property, eyeing it as a potential location for a bus barn.  But until a decision is made on the fate of the courts, that potential reuse of the area must remain on hold.

Graham said the town could propose to replace the tennis courts with something, such as basketball courts or even a soccer field. But it could not simply demolish the tennis courts without somehow otherwise enhancing the community’s parks and recreation offerings.

Rec board member Selena Brown said she played tennis on the courts and would hate to lose them. She said tennis is more popular among adults than children, and that the community should aim for programming that is “all inclusive,” and not just tailored to those in K-12.

Do you have an opinion?  Contact any recreation district board member, including Supt. Barry Bryant, or share your views at Town Hall.

In other business Tuesday night:

• Recreation Director Chris Waite shared his staff goals for 2013. They include drafting an emergency plan for the Herb Asp Community Center, moving closer to accepting online payments and offering CPR refreshers to rec district employees.

• Rec board members offered support for the idea of allowing individuals to lease the kitchen at the Herb Asp Community Center.  Waite said two different individuals had approached him recently, wanting to use the kitchen, which is licensed with the Department of Agriculture. According to Waite, the Ag Department confirmed that the rec district could let others use the kitchen, but anyone who does would need to get their own license to do so.

Waite said he supported it, citing similarities to the lease the district currently has with Big Brothers Big Sisters for office space and saying that it could be a revenue generator. Board members agreed.

• In his director’s report, Waite said intramural basketball is wrapping up this week, and that on the fitness side, Zumba attendance has fallen in February.  On the plus side, though, he noted that a yoga class offered by Charlotte Hinckley not only filled up, but generated a waiting list.

Roller rink attendance is “excellent,” he said, noting that there are sometimes 35 to 40 skaters at a session.

The rec district’s spring sale is set for March 9 and there are only three available space for the bazaar.