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Port District taking another look at projects


The idea of a trailer park and residential development along the Banks Lake Golf Course has surfaced again.

Grant County Port District 7 commissioners raised the topic at their meeting last week as they wrestled with how to continue financing the operation of their 18-hole golf course.

Both ideas were thought to be viable projects back in 2012, but the financial times put an end to any kind of new development along the golf course.

None of the present commissioners held office when the two ideas surfaced previously. Present commissioners are President James Keene, Jerry Sands and Gary Haag.

Back in 2012, the district had spent nearly $125,000 keeping the golf course open. Since then, keeping the course open has been a difficult task, largely with volunteer help including the time of commissioners.

A feasibility study costing $7,500 determined that there was space for a 48-space recreation trailer court where the practice driving range is now located. When the cost of the infrastructure was determined, the estimated cost of the project was $1.75 million.

The Port District then looked at a smaller project, one costing $850,000, but that cost was also more than the commissioners could afford.

Prior to that, a much more ambitious plan seemed to gain momentum by putting in 70 townhouses on a nine-acre piece of property known as Quail Run, a former trailer park.

There again, financial times ended the discussion.

The 18-hole golf course is within the Electric City boundary due to an annexation a few years ago; however, some of the land alongside the fairways lies outside the city within Grant County.

Keene renewed the discussion last week. Commissioners are desperately looking for ways to make the golf course more viable.

“We need to start discussions, both with the city of Electric City and Grant County on how we might design some projects that will improve the financial status of the golf course,” Keene stated.

Last year, the course was run primarily by volunteers, and this year it is even more so. Keene and his wife were staffing the clubhouse on Saturday. Commissioners have regular work schedules to help but they don’t think that is viable for long-range operation of the course.

Commissioners still think that one or both of the projects might attract an investor.

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