BY KATHRYN KELLY
A public data request to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board reveals how much money has been spent, so far, on the Hiawatha Golf Course Master Plan. What is the number as of October 2020?
The Park Board is closing in on spending One Million Dollars on a plan that huge numbers of people don’t support.
• Golfers don’t want this new, substandard golf course.
• Golfers from communities of color want to retain the 18-hole golf course instead of feeling ignored in the process.
• Neighbors are worried about noise and congestion from the changes to the property, and putting golf and water closer to the homes.
• Many neighbors don’t believe that there is enough information about how the homes will be protected from flooding.
• Neighbors don’t want to lose the two little parks (19th and 43rd, 44th and Longfellow) that are greatly valued.
• People wonder where the Park Board will find the projected $42-$62 million needed to fund this project.
• With infrastructure in disrepair, like the neighborhood tennis courts, many people believe that this money would have been better spent on repairing and maintaining existing infrastructure.
• The Community Advisory Committee had many concerns and questions about this plan that have still not been answered.
• The Hiawatha 18-hole golf course was one of the few facilities bringing in revenue for the Park Board in 2020, and it was heavily utilized by the public, who had few other options for sports and recreation due to COVID-19.
• The May 2020 survey showed that twice as many people wanted the 18-hole golf course to remain as those who wanted this new plan. The August survey results have yet to be released.
The Park Board commissioners are supposed to vote to approve the Hiawatha Golf Course Master Plan this fall, which will just continue this wasteful spending. It is time for taxpayers to weigh in and tell the commissioners to halt this project.