August 13, 2009 10:16:00 AM
A new wrinkle has been thrown into the debate over the best location for a Columbus soccer field complex, with the Columbus Country Club''s offer to the county to sell its back nine holes -- land amounting to between 65-70 acres -- to the county for the project.
The site, located on the south side of Military Road, has its pluses. It''s already in a beautiful setting. It''s centrally located, with easy visibility and access to U.S. 82. It''s in close proximity to hotels, just up Military Road from the Wingate and Hampton Inn, a plus for out-of-town visitors here for tournaments.
And there would be low infrastructure costs, compared to the other sites being considered. The land is roughly the same size as the downtown Burns Bottom property. But unlike Burns Bottom, which is prone to flooding in some areas, all the country club land could be used. Unlike the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property near the Riverwalk, infrastructure, including roads, electricity and water and sewer lines, are in place.
The biggest downside is the price. The land is yet to be appraised, but it will certainly cost more per acre than the Corps property or Burns Bottom land.
This offer comes amid support for Burns Bottom that is lackluster at best. Of the supervisors recently polled, only board president Harry Sanders is steadfastly in support of the location.
"The people in my district are overwhelmingly not in favor of Burns Bottom," Supervisor Frank Ferguson said last month. While Supervisor Jeff Smith supports Burns Bottom, "I wouldn''t lose sleep if it went somewhere else," he said.
"I am in support of Burns Bottom right now, but if something else comes along, I am certainly open to suggestions," Supervisor John Holliman said last month.
Something else has come along. While so much attention has been focused on marching toward Burns Bottom, we urge our supervisors to give the Country Club land fair consideration.
JWalker commented at 8/13/2009 5:49:00 PM:
Thank you, finally a real opportunity for a great location. This is the best option yet! This could be a real benefit for everyone. Hats off to Don West and the Country Club.
CN commented at 8/20/2009 9:12:00 PM:
Well, the country club is doomed. They may get some money to help them in these days of a weak economy by selling half their golf course, but in the long term it will doom the country club to complete failure.
They've lost a lost of members because when money's tight, things like country club memberships get dropped first. They'll lose even more if they become a nine hole golf course. I've even talked to some long time members who say they'll leave, and one of them is a former board member!
They need to think twice, and then a third time, before they take this kind of drastic, irreversible action. If they sell off nine holes, they won't be able to get them back when the economy improves -- and it will -- and with a couple of nice 18-hole courses nearby, like Elm Lake, the country club won't be able to compete.
br commented at 8/28/2009 12:56:00 AM:
the country club has offered to do a real service to the town by offering a good alternative to some crappy locations. if you're upset about the country club losing nine holes, get over it. they're losing lots of money every year and probably need to look at the bottom line. keep your business advice to your own business, cn.
1. Our View: A holiday Mississippi cannot afford DISPATCH EDITORIALS
3. Possumhaw: New digs for the earthworm LOCAL COLUMNS
5. Editorial cartoon for 4-24-17 NATIONAL COLUMNS