2012-09-25 at 01:32
Foulds convinces council to look at Municipal closure decision
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Municipal Golf Course may have found its saviour.
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Current River Coun. Andrew Foulds has got council’s approval to consider amending an earlier bylaw instructing city officials to divest itself of the 88-year-old course at the end of the 2012 season.
Foulds, one of three councillors to approve the original vote, is asking council to consider postponing by a year the decision to close the course, saying the extra time will give supporters time to come up with a plan to save the nine-hole track.
“In essence we’ve got to change three votes,” said Foulds, who also has the support of Coun. Paul Pugh, absent from the original vote.
Foulds only needs a bare minimum majority to temporarily reverse the decision.
“A lot has happened in the last number of months when it comes to information provided to council. First of all there’s been this community petition with thousands of signatures. We’ve had a closed-session report which certainly articulates the complexity of the issue,” he said.
“In essence my amendment tonight, if supported by council, would give Municipal Golf Course a lifeline. It would stay open for another year and in the meantime there would be another ad hoc committee struck with members of council and the committee to look at Municipal and golf operations and make recommendations on, and really deciding how valuable this municipal asset and public service is.”
When making its original decision, council was acting on a report that suggested declining golf numbers across North America, numbers that stand up in Thunder Bay, mean there are too many courses in the city for golfers to reasonably support.
The same report says the city could save at least $100,000 a year, though on Sunday Coun. Aldo Ruberto, who said he won’t change his vote, suggested the number is significantly higher.
The debate is scheduled to return to council on Oct. 15.
Foulds said he’s not sure if he’s got the votes needed to sway council’s decision, but he wouldn’t feel right if he didn’t try.
“I think that all our facilities are valuable to our citizens, whether you golf or not. Not all of us as citizens use all of our services. But I do know (Municipal) is of benefit to seniors and particularly to young golfers. To me that’s worth the investment.”
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