‘You don’t need to close this golf course!’

BY ED FELIEN

Jerry Mullin told a crowd of about 100 supporters on Tuesday, Aug. 15, “You don’t need to close this golf course.  Right now, 58% of the water pumped out of the golf course goes into the lake and then back into the golf course.  We could pipe that water somewhere else.  If you take down the dam at 27th Avenue that’ll lower the water level of the lake by 1 to 2 feet.”

Mullin is not just an ardent supporter and a neighbor, he’s also a former employee with Barr Engineering.  He’s well acquainted with their engineering study of the golf course and its conclusions.

At its Aug. 9 meeting, the Park Board voted 6 to 3 to stop pumping water out of the Hiawatha Golf Course by the end of the season in 2019.  That means the course will be flooded because of the dam holding back 2 to 4 feet of water at 27th Avenue.  Rather than take down the dam, the Park Board has decided to take down the golf course.

Meg Forney, Jon Olson and Annie Young were the Commissioners who voted against stopping pumping and, thereby, voted to keep the 18-hole golf course open.  Forney is the only one running for re-election as a park commissioner at large, for one of three positions representing the whole city.

It will be a two-year process to turn off the pumps and close the course, so there is hope that a new Park Board elected this fall could change this decision and save the course.

Bill Shroyer, a candidate for Park Board in the 5th District, told the commissioners, “This decision should not be made by lame duck commissioners.  This issue will be kept alive, and supporters of Hiawatha golf are not going to give up this movement.”  He said the process “has been manipulated to ignore the strong support for Hiawatha golf.  The dredging of Minnehaha Creek and Lake Hiawatha has not been seriously considered, even though the Park Board dredged the Mississippi River to construct an island and a swimming beach.”

Shroyer spoke at the rally Tuesday in support of keeping the golf course open.  Charley “Golf” Casserly also spoke in favor of keeping the course open.  He’s running citywide.  And Bob Fine, who used to be on the Park Board, also spoke about the need to keep this vital resource alive in South Minneapolis.  He’s running in the district that covers Southwest Minneapolis, west of 35W.

If Shroyer can win in the 5th District, and if Forney and Casserly can win citywide, and if Fine can win in the 6th District, then in order to change this decision, supporters of Hiawatha golf would just need one more vote to get to five votes and a majority on the new Park Board, and, then, they could overturn this decision to close Hiawatha Golf Course by this season’s flock of lame ducks.

Southside Pride will continue to monitor the electoral landscape and report on the prospects of keeping golf at Hiawatha. 

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1 Comment

  1. Zac says:

    I’m a civil engineer and have worked with the park board and frequent Hiawatha golf and lake. What next; they turn Hiawatha’s nice usable beaches for swimming into more marshland? I respect nature as much as anyone. I emphasize my career in stormwater management and site development. But, we are in a city and need to preserve activity for our citizens in nature!

    Drop Hubert’s weirs!

    Let me know how I can help.

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