A two-man committee was selected Thursday night to further study purchase of the abandoned Holmes Harbor Golf Course by the Holmes Harbor Sewer District.
The five commissioners met in front of a crowd of 11 interested citizens, resuming the public portion of a meeting called to order two weeks ago. Earlier that day, they had met in executive session with the district’s attorney in Bellevue.
Golf course owner Kevin Hanchett, who purchased it with a partner after the previous owners went bankrupt, wants to sell the 18-hole course to the sewer district. Not included in the deal would be the clubhouse and associated marina.
Stan Walker, president of the board, didn’t reveal anything that wasn’t already publicly known. “We can’t talk about the specifics of the executive session,” he told the crowd and fellow board members Meg Wingard, Bob Miller, Tom White and Bill O’Donnell.
He called for the creation of a committee of two members “to investigate the offer to sell the fairways to the sewer district.” The board unanimously named Walker and Tom White to the committee.
The treated water is used to irrigate the golf course, which includes a couple of holding ponds for the treated water. Commissioner Meg Wingard said after the meeting, “The golf course is our drainfield.”
What to do with the golf course if purchased was briefly discussed, with ideas ranging from using it for horses or goats to reopening it to golfers. The district itself would not run a golfing operation.
However, Walker said revenue from golfing could maintain the golf course, which is required in the district’s ecology effluent disposal and irrigation system permit. Its annual cost is estimated at $70,000.
The commissioners are trying to avoid a rate increase. The 350 residents in the district presently pay $75 a month for sewer alone. “If it was a golf course we wouldn’t have to pay $70,000,” Walker said. However, part of the decision making process will include study of whether a golf course could actually turn a profit for the district.
One woman warned the board profit was in the clubhouse, not the fairways.
Wingard said there’s no deadline to make a decision to buy the property, but she expects one in February.