2012-10-16 at 01:32
One more year
Current River Coun. Andrew Foulds
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City council has stayed the execution of the Municipal Golf Course for one more year.
The motion to give Municipal one more shot narrowly went through Monday night. Council voted six-to-five in favour of forming a seven-member committee in order to find ways to keep the golf course open permanently. The committee will have four councillors and three members of the golf community.
Councillors Mark Bentz, Trevor Giertuga, Rebecca Johnson, Aldo Ruberto and mayor Keith Hobbs voted against the motion.
At-Large Coun. Ken Boshcoff wasn’t present at the meeting and Red River Coun. Brian McKinnon couldn’t vote because of a conflict of interest.
Current River Coun. Andrew Foulds, who put the motion forward, said he wanted to give Municipal a sober second thought after residents started a petition that received more than 1,800 signatures.
“I think this is fantastic,” Foulds said. “I think over the past month, there has been a battle in this chamber regarding the conservatory and tonight you saw another close vote with another municipal asset. I couldn’t be happier. I’m not a golfer but I strongly believe in recreational facilities and this one serves a couple demographics.”
While the city has to be financially responsibility, Foulds said it’s also important that the city’s is providing quality services.
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Despite the delay in closing, Foulds said it doesn’t mean the golf course is safe from shutting down. The decision is only a lifeline and the committee members must do what they can to keep Municipal from closing permanently, he said.
Jules Tupker, who spearheaded the petition, said it has been a long battle since council made the decision to close the golf course in April but he was extremely pleased with the chance to see Municipal stay open for another season.
“I think getting around 2,000 people to sign a document on something like this helped,” Tupker said. “I think the joint effort of everyone helped convince some members of council to keep it open. I know a lot of people who want to be on the committee. Hopefully we can change what’s happening at Municipal.”
A main issue with the golf course was the dwindling attendance. Tupker said if they lower the fees that will attract more golfers to the course and bring up that attendance.
Those who were against giving Municipal one more year argued against the motion said it was too little too late.
Giertuga said he appreciated what Foulds was trying to do but questioned why after so many years that the city was only now thinking about establishing a committee.
“With all due respect, this seems like a last ditch effort to try and keep this open,” Giertuga said before the vote happened. “We’re going to have a committee that’s going to study another study. We’ve gone through and studied these courses for how many years? It has been on the block for a number of years.”
He added the city is competing against local businesses and should instead be given those businesses a helping hand.
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