6:20am

Wed April 18, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

City Support of Public Golf Debated in Lexington

A member of Lexington’s Urban County Council wants to alter the way the city financially supports its public golf courses.  Jay McChord is proposing a resolution to specify the amount of support for the five courses.  “Set a subsidy level..is it a hundred thousand is it three hundred thousand..is it seven hundred thousand…but this council needs to give policy direction..that is what they asked for,” said McChord.

McChord says changes within the golf program have reduced the city’s subsidy from one point two million dollars to 700 thousand dollars.  The ninth district council representative says that’s still too high.  Council member Steve Kay would like to examine all subsidies to parks program as a whole.

General Services Commissioner Sally Hamilton says public golf won’t survive without such city support.

“We can’t keep these golf courses all open and reduce the subsidy by half a million or 700 thousand dollars.. so it basically comes to the issue of keeping all of them open not keeping all of them open,” said Hamilton.

Golf’s been an issue of debate for the past several years.  Two different mayors suggesting closing Meadowbrook golf course, only to have the council opt to over-ride the recommendation.  Council member Doug Martin believes public golf in Lexington will eventually undergo big changes..

“I’ll be very surprised if Lexington is operating golf the way it currently is in five years…that will be up to folks after me to decide how to do it…but golf and many other programs here at the city that all of us love will be disappearing,” added Martin.

Vice Mayor Linda Gorton believes changes in rates should be given more time to affect the golf program’s bottle line before a final decision about subsidies is made.