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Public Comment Welcomed at February 3rd Salt Lake City Council Meeting

All the talk about closing some Salt Lake City golf courses will come to a head Tuesday night when the Salt Lake City Council opens the council chambers to a golf Talkfest.

The city council has been carefully evaluating the city golf program and is nearing a decision on how to deal with the deficits and is sincerely seeking public input. Decisions have not been made and the plea for public input is genuine and will be appreciated.

The public hearing will begin at 7 p.m. in Room 315 of the City and County Building and the microphone will be open to anyone interested in expressing their views and concerns. Each speaker will be limited to two minutes.

The Salt Lake City web page is very informative concerning the golf issues facing Salt Lake City and those interested in specifics should click HERE .

“This public hearing is a good chance for the golfing public to have an influence on important decisions facing the Salt Lake City Council and we urge our UGA members and the golfing public to attend the hearing, and to offer constructive suggestions,” said UGA Executive Director Bill Walker.

“With a two minute limit we would urge those who are interested in speaking to carefully prepare their remarks before coming to the meeting, and in order to avoid duplication to have substitute remarks available,” Walker said. “We encourage those with expertise and personal knowledge about the local situations to give their personal input.”

The council has studied the issue carefully and has several options on the table, some of which suggest possible course closures

Points of emphasis for speakers could include how important the golf courses are to public recreation, open space, and quality of life and their positive economic and environmental impact on the community. (A recent study by the Stanford Research Institute shows the annual total economic impact for Utah golf courses is more than three million dollars per course annually)

Possible solutions could be reduction of operating costs by improvement of irrigation and creating the infrastructure necessary to provide a much cheaper secondary water source at the golf courses. Improving clubhouse dining facilities for large groups could enhance rounds and revenues at several of the courses. Other ideas are welcome.

The city is limited in its financial options based upon the adherence to a Golf Enterprise Fund that requires golf, unlike any other sport or activity, to finance itself fully through user fees.