Willow Run Golf Course is up for auction and there is a unique opportunity for the city to add an excellent, already developed golf course to the other city owned golf courses strategically placed throughout the city. Willow Run's general manager says the golf course is "in good shape and is operating profitably."
Here is a golf course with a 25 year history in the community. It is a beautiful established golf course. The City of Sioux Falls has staked a strong committed claim in this recreation sport which has resulted in some pretty wonderful golf courses for the public duffers. A quality of life opportunity for the community that won't see the light of day with the mayor.
It appears that the mayor is not interested in even entertaining the idea of such an investment for the city. I am told he has already rejected a direct offer to sell from Dr. Tschetter. He has also rejected an appeal from some Park Board members a couple weeks ago. Rumor has it the mayor said the Park Board members were wasting his time.
The Eastside of Sioux Falls is growing economically with significant infrastructure being built by the city and private developers. Commercial development along East 10th Street continues and the partial completion of Powder House Road is a nice improvement. The establishment of Harmodon Park and Dawley Farms will ultimately drive more commercial development. Housing starts along Highway 11 continue to grow. Willow Run is directly adjacent to the new Arboretum, and near Arrowhead Park.
At the very least, it deserved a thoughtful discussion with the Park Board and the City Council as to its potential use in the community as a public golf course and the revenue possibilities for city coffers. It's not like there isn't the ability to use some of that $3.8 million undesignated fund in the capital improvement program for such an investment in the city.
Is thoughtful dialogue on investment opportunities for the city as a whole a bad idea? Investment opportunties come to the city all the time and it behooves elected officials to consider all possibilities before dismissing something outright without forethought or planning. This is too valuable an opportunity to just dismiss with a flick of the wrist and a comment that the mayor's time is being wasted.