It took some time, but Glenwood Springs voters got their way.
And isn’t that how the system is supposed to work?
For the second time in the last 13 years, voters struck down a proposal for a city-funded golf course, although voters were forced to work in a more circuitous fashion this time around.
City manager Mike Copp announced last week that plans for a municipal golf course at the base of Red Mountain have been shelved. The announcement made official what voters decided at the Nov. 4, 2003, elections when a pair of pro-golf course council members were unseated.
At issue in the most recent push for a new spot to tee it up wasn’t the golf course per se, but the method of funding for the golf course. The Certificates of Participation (COPs), which allowed the City Council to approve funding for the golf course without voter approval, was a contentious issue from the outset.
Voters never had the opportunity to vote directly on the golf course or COPs, but made themselves heard by electing anti-COPs city council candidates Larry Beckwith and Joe O’Donnell. The nail in the coffin for the golf course was the cost estimate for the course rising from $8 million to $10 million.
There can never be too many recreational opportunities ” that’s why people live and vacation here ” but it is possible to overspend on recreation.
While the golf course may have been a revenue producer in the long run, the battle for golfers’ dollars is fierce in the area. And the debt load would have undoubtedly impacted the city’s spending on other priorities.
And there’s nothing wrong with true open space.
Unlike the site of the golf course struck down in 1991 ” which will soon begin sprouting big box stores at the Glenwood Meadows commercial development ” the upslope site on Red Mountain is designated open space.
The site is ideal for hiking and cross country skiing, activities that don’t have the revenue potential of a golf course, but also don’t have the financial risks.
Essentially, this is what the citizens have voted for.
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