January 21, 2019 05:47 PM
Anoka County is considering a proposal to turn Chomonix Golf Course into an outdoor recreation area.
Neighbors of the course received a flyer from Anoka County Parks Director Jeff Perry on Saturday that detailed the proposed changes.
In the letter, Perry writes the "declining number of rounds can't cover the costs associated with operations, forcing Anoka County to use property tax dollars from all residents to subsidize the golf game of a few."
Perry says Chomonix lost $642,000 from 2014 to 2018 and will cost Anoka County taxpayers $1.64 million over the next five years to operate.
More from KSTP:
"It's hard to justify keeping it around at that cost," said Anoka County Commissioner Scott Schulte.
The Anoka County Commission will ultimately decide the course's fate. One idea currently under consideration by commissioners is to turn the course into an outdoor recreation space, complete with a mountain bike course and an archery range.
"There's a balancing act between what you should provide to the public and what you can afford to provide the public," added Schulte. "We need to do that, have that balancing act and figure it out."
Some neighbors tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they were stunned to receive the flyer and say they'll fight to keep the course from closing.
"Make it work," said neighbor Brian Knox. "Find a way to make it work. How many people are going to go there for archery? They're going to have more people doing archery than golf? Come on."
The proposal to 'repurpose' Chomonix is far from a done deal, however. Anoka County Commissioners could instead agree to lease the course to the city of Lino Lakes who would operate the course and keep it open.
Mark Miller, President of the Chomonix Golf Men's Club, supports any measure that would keep the course operational.
"[Anoka County] may want to be out of the golf business but that doesn't mean this course should be out of business," said Miller.
The Mayor of Lino Lakes Jeff Reinert tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the city just received word about the possibility of operating the golf course last week.
Mayor Reinert says he plans to meet with staff on Tuesday to determine whether the city operating the course is even feasible.
"I am committed to doing what I can to save Chomonix from closing," Reinert wrote in an email to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.
Anoka County has given Lino Lakes until Feb. 1 to make a decision.
Updated: January 21, 2019 05:47 PM
Created: January 21, 2019 05:09 PM
Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company