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.