Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/5/2012 (1857 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
THE future of seven city-owned golf courses remains up in the air as a rare meeting of the committee in charge of their potential sale came and went without a promised report about their fate.
Since 2011, the City of Winnipeg has been mulling the idea of selling or leasing seven financially troubled golf courses that have contributed to roughly $1 million worth of annual losses by the city's golf services agency.
As recently as February, city council finance chairman Scott Fielding (St. James) said a report recommending the sale or lease of some of the properties was nearly complete and should be made public by April.
That report was expected to come before city council's alternate service delivery committee, a body that oversees the city's special operating agencies and is also chaired by Fielding. It meets on an infrequent basis.
The committee met Tuesday without receiving the golf report, which is now expected to recommend the sale or lease of only two or three of the seven golf courses in question.
"We're not going to be selling all the golf courses. There's no question about that," Fielding said Tuesday. Despite repeated delays, the golf course report is still coming forward, ideally within the next few weeks or months, he said.
The release of the report will not be quickly followed by a council vote, he added, attempting to allay concerns the sale of the properties are a done deal. City council has taken heed of the concerns of citizens who've demanded to be part of the process, Fielding said.
"If there is any golf course sale, public consultation will go into that decision," he said. "It won't be a report, then straight to a council vote. There will be public consultation. We've heard that message, loud and clear."
Council is more attuned than usual to public opinion following a failed attempt in April to gain consensus over the sale of a downtown surface-parking lot known as Parcel Four to an Alberta developer who planned to build a hotel and water park across Waterfront Drive from the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Council debated that plan for just two weeks after it was made public.
Rookie councillor Brian Mayes (St. Vital), who is skeptical of golf course sales, said he believes council learned a lesson from the water-park debate. He said he's been assured there will be legitimate public consultation following the release of the golf-course recommendations.
"I don't think it will be a rush job. I think each one will be treated individually," said Mayes, adding he expected to see the recommendations this week.
"The sooner we get the report, the better and the sooner they get the public involved, the better."
The seven golf courses up for possible sale or lease are the Winnipeg Canoe Club, Crescent Drive, Harbour View, John Blumberg, Kildonan Park, Tuxedo and Windsor Park.
Since two-thirds of councillors -- 11 of 16 -- must approve the sale of any city-owned green space, any plan to do so will require the support of non-executive policy committee councillors such as Mayes.
He said he does not support the idea of closing Windsor Park but would be OK with converting the Canoe Club to a park.