According to a press release issued by the office of the Mayor of the City of Aurora, another Northeast Ohio golf course has been targeted for closing for the questionable purpose of ‘watershed conservation and restoration’.
While such a closing is still of debatable public value, at least the grant being discussed this time around to finance the purchase of the Aurora Golf Club property is coming from a private entity, the Trust for Public Land. This strategy is much more palatable vs. the fleecing that the taxpayers of the state of Ohio faced in the proposed boondoggle that was Fowlers Mill in 2010.
According to the Aurora Mayor’s press release, the Aurora City Council will consider accepting a grant from TPL for $3.9 million dollars to purchase then close the Aurora Golf Club course in an effort to ‘better the water quality of the Aurora branch of the Chagrin River’.
That purchase price does not include the six acres that make up the clubhouse and property close to Route 82, which is zoned for commercial use.
The press release states that this purchase and closing is important not only to help the watershed, but to create additional parkland for the town and perhaps even prevent the building of a housing development on the golf course land in the future.
The golf-course-hating Ohio EPA is backing this ‘conservation’ wholeheartedly once again, but at least it isn’t fronting the money for the purchase in this case.
Three questions come to mind immediately for this buy-and-close idea and the contents of the press release the Mayor’s office put forth: 1) The golf course greatly harms the region’s water quality how? 2) Semi-rural Aurora needs more parkland why? and 3) What crazy developer in Northeast Ohio can’t wait to burn through a pile of cash building a subdivision in the middle of nowhere in this economy of the foreseeable future?
Truly, these issues are straw men.
If private ‘naturalists’ want to give the City of Aurora money to overpay for land to close a working golf course for reasons that seem defy common logic, that is their prerogative.
But area golfers lose a worthwhile facility, another business is shuttered and its jobs are lost for questionable conservation, and the city of Aurora loses an amenity that many find worthwhile.
Perhaps the Aurora City Council should weigh the loss of a public golf facility a bit more than it has…