Leader Blues

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

TOP STORY >> Golf course idea wins out

By RICK KRON
Leader staff writer

The Sherwood City Council is set to approve spending $405,000 to start turning the 106-acre North Hills property into a viable golf course.

The proposed ordinances that the council will vote on at its 7 p.m. meeting Tuesday also include waiving competitive bidding because “restoration and rehabilitation is seasonal in nature” and has created an urgency.

The ordinances will also be passed with an emergency clause, meaning that it will be come law right away, instead of having a standard 30-day waiting period.

The emergency clause is being attached because “time is of the essence,” according to the ordinances.

One ordinance calls for the property to continue as a golf course and appropriates $300,000 from the city’s general fund to “allow commencement of this project.”

The ordinance also calls for the director of parks and recreation to “immediately begin restoration of the North Hills property. The director is further directed, according to the ordinance, to take all necessary steps to insure re-opening of the facility by the spring of 2010 or sooner, if practical.

A related ordinance creates four new city positions, a golf course superintendent, two regular part-time golf course laborers and a park maintenance generalist.

The ordinance calls for transferring another $105,688 from the general fund to cover salary, taxes and benefits of those positions for the rest of this year. That amount will have to be doubled for next year.

These ordinances are set for approval before ETC Engineers submits their final version of their yearlong park study.

Their initial study findings, before receiving any public input in late April and earlier this month, suggests that the best use for the land, which Sherwood bought last year for $5.5 million, is as an 18-hole public golf course.

The ordinance giving the city the go-ahead to repair the acreage as a golf course doesn’t designate whether it will be a nine-hole, an 18-hole or a 27-hole facility.

Plans for all three designs have been floating around the city.

Also on the council agenda:

– An ordinance approving the access-management plan developed by Metroplan for Brockington Road.

The primary purpose for the agreement between the city and Metroplan, according to the plan, “is to protect the capacity of the roadway to carry significant local and intra-regional traffic. The secondary purpose is to increase the safety for drivers and pedestrians.

– Aldermen will vote on an ordinance requiring developers to show locations of all sidewalks on construction plans and that no certificate of occupancy will be issued until all required sidewalks in a development are built.

– The council will vote on an ordinance rezoning property at 8320 Hwy. 107 from R-1 (single family homes) to C-3 (commercial).

– The council will also look at condemning 5921 Jacksonville Cutoff and 103 Winona as public nuisances, meaning the owners will have 30 days to bring the structures up to code or tear them down. If the owner does neither, the city will tear down the structures.

– The council will vote on re-appointing Ron Roy to the Civil Service Commission.