Leader Blues

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

TOP STORY >> Sherwood to reopen golf links

Leader staff writer

“I think we now have a golf course,” said Sherwood Mayor Virginia Hillman after the city council voted Tuesday 6-1 to spend $300,000 from the general fund to start reconstructing the 105-acre North Hills Golf Course.

The council also approved spending another $104,000 to hire a golf course superintendent, a full-time general laborer and two part-time golf course laborers.

Alderman Butch Davis was the only one on the council to vote against the golf course. But once that ordinance passed, he quickly recommended passage of the ordinance to hire the needed people. “Since we are going to have this golf course, let’s get a good superintendent,” he said.

In explaining his opposition, Davis made it clear that the property should become a golf course, but he felt the city needed to take care of other issues and save some money first. “There are a lot of things we need. Let’s take care of the work before the play,” Davis said.

Alderman Becki Vassar, who has been accused of wanting the golf course because it’s in her backyard, said the issue went further than that. “It’s mine, yours and all of Sherwood’s.”

She said the golf course has been researched and discussed for the last two years. Vassar said, “It’s been debated more than anything else in my 30 years on the council. It has gone through three mayors, two councils, numerous workshops, two lawsuits, two public hearings, feasibility studies” and it all comes out that this is what’s best.

“We need to recognize that this green space has been the nucleus of our city since 1926, and this is an opportunity to make it the finest municipal golf course in the state,” Vassar said.

She added that reconstruction would take time.

“With limited funds and no tax increase we must be frugal, but we might be back to ask for more money,” Vassar added.