Blumberg remains on auction block, for now

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This article was published 04/02/2022 (233 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood councillor Kevin Klein said he intends to introduce a motion to remove John Blumberg Golf Course from the city’s surplus list, after city council voted decisively on Jan. 27 to kibosh a bid to buy the land at a price of $13.7 million.

City-owned properties must first be “declared surplus to the needs of the city” before they can be sold. John Blumberg Golf Course was moved onto the surplus list in 2013.

Klein’s motion will be his second such attempt. The first died before it truly started. At an Assiniboine Community Committee meeting on Oct. 27, 2021, Klein moved the property be removed from the list, but neither of the two other councillors on the committee seconded the motion to push it through to the next step at city hall.

Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press Coun. Kevin Klein said he plans to introduce a motion to remove John Blumberg Golf Course from the city's surplus list at the standing policy committee meeting for property and development on Feb. 7, 2022.

Those councillors were Scott Gillingham (St. James), who later voted in favour of selling the golf course, and Janice Lukes (Waverley West), who was one of 13 councillors who struck down the sale.

Should Klein introduce the motion at the property and development committee meeting, as he said, it will need support from one of three councillors, all of whom voted to nix the sale last month.

Klein said it was encouraging to see the council vote down the sale with such overwhelming numbers (13-3), but he nevertheless expressed disappointment with two of the votes to sell, in particular.

“I was a little shocked at the mayor and Gillingham,” he said. “First of all, the mayor often talks from the environment platform, how important our tree canopy is and will certainly promote parts of the environment that work well for him, but here we had an opportunity to really do something and they just wanted to sell it. And that really disappointed me.”

Klein said the sale price was far too low to buy land of equal value to create greenspaces, such as those the city has committed to creating. As chairperson of the finance committee, Klein said, Gillingham should have seen this.

For his part, Gillingham made the point in council that John Blumberg Golf Course is not within city limits and that the golf course is currently not accessible as greenspace without paying a fee to play golf. He has also said that operating the golf course would cost the taxpayer millions of dollars in coming years.

Last year the city spent a net $18,000 to maintain the site.

Headingley mayor John Mauseth said his rural municipality put forward a proposal for the property which would “eliminate any costs from the city’s perspective.”

“The long-term plan would be year-round usage of a park with a boat launch, dog park, whatever else might come out of that,” Mauseth said.

The current golf course operator, Brian Campbell, said he’s contracted to run the course until March of 2023, pending the sale of the land. He said after listening to council speak about the property’s potential, he may propose the creation of walking trails along the river and a toboggan hill, both of which would be accessible for free.

 

Cody Sellar

Cody Sellar
Community Journalist

Cody Sellar is the reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review West. He is a lifelong Winnipegger. He is a journalist, writer, sleuth, sloth, reader of books and lover of terse biographies. Email him at cody.sellar@canstarnews.com or call him at 204-697-7206.

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