Resident: Pleasant View should build pickleball courts

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 1:27 PM

Standard-Examiner Correspondent, Terrie L. Stephenson

PLEASANT VIEW — With all the improvements and upgrades at local parks going on in this city, Eldon Cottle, a 35-year resident, says something is still missing — something the city needs for recreation in the future.

“I propose Pleasant View parks and recreation consider pickleball courts,” he said. “It is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States.”

Cottle said children, older people and everyone in between would enjoy pickleball and asked council members to consider it in future plans.

Pickleball is a fast-moving game, similar to tennis, but played on a smaller court, one about a third of the size of a tennis court, using hard rectangular paddles and a Wiffle-like ball.

One of the main rules is that the ball does not have to hit the ground before being volleyed back and forth, but it can hit the ground and continue to be in play if the player is in the right area.

Pickleball can be played indoors or outdoors, said Cottle, who added the sport can be addictive.

He said pickleball courts are in Ogden and Brigham City, where he goes to play, but the sport is so popular, there is often a wait for a court.

Cottle recommended the city build four courts to begin with and expand with another two to four courts later.

He said two courts would cost approximately $45,000 and four would run $80,000 to $85,000.

The courts are made of concrete with a special surface on top, Cottle said. A chain-link fence surrounding the courts would also be needed to keep the pickleballs inside the courts.

Another option would be portable courts that can be put up and taken down.

Barker Park would be a good location, Cottle said, adding there is room for courts there now as well as room for more courts in the future.

“For funding, it would be nice if Pleasant View would pay for it,” he said, but added he would also be willing to seek donations in order to help the pickleball courts become a reality in Pleasant View.

Mayor Doug Clifford said he likes the idea of a fundraiser for the courts but that something like pickleball courts would also be a good fit for future RAMP grant proposals.

RAMP funds come from a tax approved by Weber County voters in 2004 that allows the county to impose a local sales tax of one-tenth of 1 percent, which is 1 cent on a $10 sale, to improve recreation, arts, museums and parks.

“It’s a very, very popular sport. It’s growing in St. George right now,” Clifford said of pickleball.

The city will be working on updates to the General Plan in January, he said, and that might be a good time to add pickleball plans for the future.

“I foresee we will be hearing the smack of a pickleball here,” Clifford said.

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