, 2023-01-08 05:30:00,
Shakin’ my head again today at Wichita City Hall. This time, it’s over the former Clapp Golf Course, again.
On the City Council agenda for Tuesday is an item to spend an additional $530,000 for planning the first phase of what will replace the 65-year-old golf course that was shut down in 2019. That’s in addition to $206,000 already spent on developing the park’s master plan.
The question of the day is, is this really necessary?
Plans for the park have already been scaled down from an ambitious $28 million master plan including a bistro, indoor-outdoor farmer’s market, performance stage, BMX bike track, sports courts and other amenities.
Now, it’s basically about disc golf, open space for walking, a dog park and a children’s playground. There are 14 bridges out there, some serviceable, some old and dangerous.
I’m having a hard time understanding why accomplishing the tasks at hand requires spending another half-million-dollars on someone from out of town with a briefcase.
Funny thing is, the city closed the golf course because it had been losing money for several years (although it was making money at the end). On Tuesday, the City Council might end up spending as much or more on consulting fees than the course was losing.
The improvements currently planned seem pretty simple and should be well within the capabilities of City Hall, without a lot of outside help:
▪ The disc golf course is already there. The city gets $300 a month for the use of the clubhouse by a disc golf entrepreneur who gets to sell equipment, snacks and drinks to players, with access to 95 acres of city parkland for the activity.
▪ Open space? Plenty there already.
▪ A dog park is…
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