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Golf course decision delayed

Springfield leaders explore last-minute options.

The National Trail Parks and Recreation District board delayed the decision to close Snyder Park Golf Course at Monday’s meeting to analyze cost reductions at the golf operation and to possibly closing the south course at Reid Park.

The board’s resolution said closing the golf course is “the only viable option,” but the motion was tabled to focus on other possibilities. A large contingent of golfers spoke at the meeting – both county and city residents – expressing concerns about closing Snyder Park’s course.

“Once it’s gone, we can never get it back,” said Springfield resident Rich Whalen.

The board will plan a special meeting later this month to determine the future of the golf operation.

“We do not want to delay this decision until February,” said board president Maureen Massaro.

The district projects an approximately $356,000 shortfall this year. NTPRD will have approximately $3.8 million in income and approximately $4.16 million in expenses.

Board member Jack Simonton expressed his desire to close the south course at Reid Park Golf Course while also implementing the cost reductions of golf superintendent Chris Flick – which would save a total of approximately $390,000.

Park officials estimate closing the south course at Reid Park will save approximately $227,000.

NTPRD staff will put together more concrete numbers on possible savings across the golf operation, which includes saving approximately $40,000 by purchasing different fertilizer.

“I think it would be a tremendous travesty to give up on that golf course at this time,” Simonton said.

National Trail’s golf operations have lost approximately $1.08 million over the last three years, including about $493,000 last year.

The closing of the Snyder Park golf course would save the financially-strapped district an estimated $357,500.

Snyder Park’s course lost approximately $262,000 last year, while the courses at Reid Park lost $231,000. Golf rounds are down approximately 23,000 since 2009.

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