By Nikki Garrett Metzger
(Hesperia) – With unanimous vote, the Hesperia City Council voted Tuesday night to keep the golf course open and have City staff work with the Recreation and Park District to establish a long term contract to run and maintain the golf course.
At issue has been the cost of keeping the golf course running which caused the concern of many residents. The City purchased the golf course last year and at that time it was pretty dilapidated. The Recreation and Park District took over management of the facility. Also at issue are the water rights that the City acquired when it purchased the property.
The Council was presented with a report by Kelly Malloy, Community Relations & Media Coordinator which included the results of a series of meetings held to get public input on the future of the golf course. They were also presented with the results of a feasibility study conducted by a consulting firm. The results were to: 1. Keep it an 18-hole golf course; 2. Leave it as is until it can self-fund improvements; 3. Implement a marketing and advertising campaign to increase visits; 4. Reduce turf to conserve water; 5. Maintain aesthetic improvements to the clubhouse and restaurant.
During the public comments several residents stepped forward and spoke in support of keeping the golf course open, and all were in favor of having the Recreation and Park District continue to manage it rather than an outside management firm. One resident spoke against it saying that the funds could be put to better use and that the water rights could be used for residents to keep the cost of water down.
Before the vote Mayor Mike Leonard said, “I see a lot of value to it (the golf course). And as other council members have said the Park District has done a good job trying to bring it back up to standards. I can support keeping it open and negotiating a long term contract with our Park District.”
Mayor Leonard continued, “Everyone needs to understand that we don’t have the money right now to upgrade the kitchen, upgrade the parking lot or whatever other issues are there. We just don’t have the money to do it. So, you’ll have to be patient. Work with us, work with the Park District, and we’ll keep it operating.”
Once the contract has been negotiated it will be brought before the City Council for consideration and approval at a later date.
To watch a replay of the meeting and to see the agenda, visit the City of Hesperia’s website at http://cityofhesperia.us/