Golf course construction, COPs funding in question
Post Independent Staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Substantial changes in City Council membership, along with cost-estimate increases, could put the proposed city golf course in jeopardy.
The cost to build the golf course, originally estimated at around $8 million, has risen to more than $10 million, City Council members reported at a recreation workshop held Wednesday evening.
Mayor Don Vanderhoof noted that the higher cost “moved it from a good business decision to an amenity.”
Also, two of Tuesday’s City Council seat winners, Larry Beckwith and Joe O’Donnell, based their campaigns around putting certificates of participation ” the method proposed for funding the golf course ” to a public vote.
At Wednesday’s meeting, city manager Mike Copp said once he heard about the increased cost, work toward getting COPs was ” at least temporarily ” halted.
But where does that leave the whitewater park and aquatic center, which would also have been funded by certificates of participation?
“I think we should move forward with the pool because that’s a promised thing,” new City Councilman Larry Beckwith said.
Joe O’Donnell, another new councilman, likewise spoke in favor of building the aquatic center.
“When I was on the street, beating the street, that’s what people have told me; we need a pool,” he said.
Another incoming councilman, Bruce Christensen, said he’s not ready to commit to building just a pool, but would rather look at the feasibility of building a pool, the whitewater park and still look at the possibility of building a golf course.
Councilman Dave Merritt said of all the years to construct a whitewater park, this winter will be the best because the Xcel Energy Shoshone Hydroelectric Plant in Glenwood Canyon will undergo major maintenance.
“The river will be at an all-time low,” he said, adding that the city could save a substantial amount of money that would have gone toward water diversion as the park is built.
When outgoing City Councilman Don Gillespie was asked Wednesday how he felt about the projects, he answered candidly, “Don’t look at me, my brain got set aside last night,” referring to his defeat at the polls on Tuesday.
The recreational amenities were set to be discussed by the new City Council Thursday. For a complete report, pick up Sunday’s paper or log onto http://www.postindependent.com Friday afternoon and click on “Breaking News.”
Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511
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