Report on future of city courses to be public soon

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A long-awaited report on the future of the city's financially troubled golf courses will finally be released in the coming weeks.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/06/2012 (3748 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A long-awaited report on the future of the city’s financially troubled golf courses will finally be released in the coming weeks.

Mayor Sam Katz said Wednesday a report recommending the sale or lease of some of the city-owned golf courses could come to council’s executive policy committee as early as next week. He said Winnipeg received more than 50 proposals from last fall’s expression of interest, and he wants to see it released publicly before council’s summer break at the end of July. The report was expected to be released in spring.

“If there was 50, 60 or more EOIs, there’s a lot of due diligence to do, so I don’t think it’s slow,” Katz said following Wednesday morning’s executive policy committee meeting. “The most important thing is the department is thorough and comes back with a report that makes sense.”

Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press Archives Players at John Blumberg Golf Course

The city put out an expression of interest in October to see if anyone wanted to purchase or take over the long-term leases of seven city-owned golf courses: the Canoe Club, Crescent Drive, Harbour View, John Blumberg, Kildonan Park, Tuxedo and Windsor Park.

The move came several months after city auditors discovered the courses had racked up large debts and suggested Winnipeg sell some of its courses or convert them into parks. Winnipeg Golf Services is a special operating agency that runs 12 public golf courses and loses about $1 million a year.

Some city-owned courses — including Tuxedo and Harbour View — are already operated by private contractors, while the city operates Kildonan Park, Crescent Drive and Windsor Park.

Auditors said financial losses will continue to mount unless Winnipeg contracts out the management of Crescent View, Kildonan Park and Windsor Park and considers selling Assiniboine, Wildewood and Canoe Club golf courses when their leases expire.

Several community groups have voiced concerns the city plans to sell these properties before considering whether the land could have other public uses or remain as green space.

Katz said this should have never been a debate about green space, and is a question of whether or not Winnipeg’s golf courses can be profitable.

City officials have said public consultations will be conducted after the report and its recommendations have been made public.

“I do believe having golf courses available to the public is a good thing,” Katz said.

jen.skerritt@freepress.mb.ca

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