Port pursues RV park plan funding
Port District 7 has applied to Grant County’s Strategic Infrastructure Program for $7,500 to pay for its feasibility report on a plan to build an RV park at the course.
District Chairman Oroville Scharbach said he and others will meet with the county’s committee Dec. 19, to go over details of the overall plan.
Port commissioners got a sticker shock when the overall study by USKH engineers last month showed a cost of nearly $1.5 million for the facility. Allowing for overages, the estimate swelled to $1.749 million.
Since then, commissioners have pared down the RV park from a potential of 48 pads to about 23. Infrastructure costs remain the same since it would have to be built all at once.
Scharbach said the plan was to get funds to pay for the feasibility study, review the revised plan with the SIP committee return to put the project out for bid to see how much additional funds will be needed.
While commissioners were hopeful that the RV park could be established in time for next season, sometime in May, the timing might not be that favorable.
The Banks Lake 18-hole course last season had 84 members. Scharbach said that the membership should bring in about $70,000. In addition, the Port District anticipates some $39,000 in property tax money next year.
“We don’t plan to cut the course to nine holes because it would be too costly to bring it back,” Scharbach said.
Last season, the Port District re-established nine of the 18 holes. Scharbach said the course is in much better shape now than when it got it in March.
“Fertilizer has been ordered and will be on hand for spring application,” Scharbach said.
He did imply that paid staff would be at a minimum and much of the work would come from volunteers.
When given the go ahead, USKH engineers would still have to do the plans before the project could be put out for bid.
Last March, the Port District took over the golf course after the operator walked away from it, and after a community meeting of golfers at which commissioners promised the course would not close. True to their word, and with some $100,000-plus investment, the course was saved for another year.
The course then was in poor condition and accordingly, commissioners reduced both membership cost and play rates. Improvement this past year will allow membership cost to come back up to regular levels and play rates to increase to regular rates. This should provide better funding for the course, Scharbach noted.
Commissioners believe the RV park would be a stimulant for play by tourists and be a good revenue stream for the course.