January 9, 2013 | LXXII, No. 41

Port District plans to open golf course

The Port District is opening Banks Lake Golf Course March 1.

The opening of the course this year has been in question since money is running out at Port District 7, which also runs the Grand Coulee Dam Airport.

The first indication that a decision has been made to open the course came in the form of an advertisement placed in The Star newspaper this week.

Last season the port district opened the golf course after the operator pulled out just weeks before golf play, and after a community meeting of golfers where district commissioners pledged to open the course.

The course was run down and several greens needed repairs, current inventory had to be purchased, as well as equipment — projects all done with Port District money. In all, the Port District spent over $100,000 of its money to keep the course open. Many of the expenses of last year won’t need to be repeated this year, commissioners have stated.

This year, membership fees for singles are back to $600 from $400. Fees had been reduced last year due to the condition of the course, and due to a number of golfers having to pay memberships twice. They had paid in advance to the late operator, then had to pay again after he gave up the course.

Port District Commissioner Chair Orville Scharbach, at a recent meeting, said this year’s operators would largely be volunteers.

Commissioners had tried a hurry-up plan to develop an RV park in the hopes of developing a new revenue stream to provide funds for operation this year.

The plan was presented for a grant early in December, but even if a grant source could be found, it wouldn’t be in time to be helpful this golf season.

The feasibility plan suggested pads for a 48-space RV park, and commissioners pared this down to 23 spaces.

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