Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/3/2012 (3422 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A group of green-space advocates wants the city to pull the plug on its redevelopment plans for seven municipal golf courses.
Outdoor Urban Recreational Spaces (OURS) Winnipeg is asking the City to prepare a thorough review of the golf courses, including a range of options for the lands, and develop a public consultation process on how to best manage the urban green spaces.
Ron Mazur, co-chair of OURS, said its first choice is that the golf courses -- Windsor Park and Canoe Club in St. Vital, Tuxedo, Crescent Drive in Fort Garry, Harbour View in North Kildonan, Kildonan Park in West Kildonan and John Blumberg in Headingley – remain golf courses.
"Families and people beginning their experience with golf (often get it at city-owned courses). If you take all those away, you rob people of that recreational activity. Few people can afford the fees at private courses," he said.
Activities at golf courses, he noted, aren’t restricted to the summer months. Cross-country skiing enthusiasts are frequently seen gliding down the fairways during the winter.
Worst-case scenario, he said, OURS hopes to keep the urban greenspace from being paved over by commercial real estate developers.
Last year, the city asked for expressions of interest from developers on the seven courses. A $50,000 deposit was required from would-be deveopers.
Mazur said Mayor Sam Katz and city council have stifled input from ordinary citizens, who he said should have the most influence on the golf courses, not the least.
Mazur said OURS also questions some of the financial information and analysis that has been prepared for the city on the golf courses. He said his group has found out that $1.7 million was transferred from golf course revenue to general revenues for the city.
"That’s simply robbing the golf courses and saying they’re not viable. Shouldn’t that money have been put into the facilities so they can attract more people?" he said.
More than 300 people attended a forum on Monday night at which green-space advocates, who had been denied the chance to speak to city council last month, put forward their positions, Mazur said.
Among those in attendance were James Allum, NDP MLA for Fort Garry-Riverview, and Brian Mayes, city councillor for St. Vital.