Council has voted to close the Municipal Golf course

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Thunder BayTHUNDER BAY – Fore! That won’t be a part of Municipal Golf Course at least as a city owned facility after a report from Administration came before City Council last night. The role of municipally owned golf courses in the community has decreased in recent years, Administration recommended that the Municipal Golf Course begin the process of being divested from the city.

After deliberation the Council has voted to close the Municipal Golf course.

At Council representatives of the Union outlined benefits of keeping the course and questioned the benefits to juniors and seniors in selling the course. The representative questioned the wisdom of rate increases which CUPE states have helped to drive off members and day players.

Membership in city owned courses has declined since 2000. The sale of the Municipal Golf Course has been discussed for years. Almost five years ago, one of the first issues raised when the new council had just been elected was the sale of Municipal Golf Course. Last night’s vote came with Councillor Paul Pugh and Councillor Brian McKinnon absent.

CUPE questioned the wisdom of simply giving the consultant a contract to report through Administration to Council.

Councillor Joe Virdiramo raised the issue of Aboriginal groups, including Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School, in getting involved at the junior golf level as a means of developing a program for building healthy lifestyles. Fort William First Nation has also reportedly expressed an interest in the course.

The move to close the course by the end of the 2012 season could see the city sell the golf course to a developer. A logical process would be to build condos on the course and make the golf course a part of a retirement village.

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