Deal close for Holmes Harbor golf course

Playing golf in Freeland may happen in May.

After a long saga of disuse at Holmes Harbor Golf Course, a deal could be signed Thursday that could reopen it next month.

"The commissioners are in favor of it, it's a case of getting all the details worked out," said Stan Walker, chairman of the Holmes Harbor Sewer District. "We are purchasing the fairways and greens. Also in the purchasing agreement, we have an option to sublease the course and pro house."

Commissioners of the sewer district met last week to review the purchase and lease agreements. Only three attended which qualified as a quorum, but another meeting was set for 1 p.m. Thursday, April 11 for all five commissioners to review the 51-page title work and other documents.

Purchasing the golf  course is only a means to an end: keeping the sewer system working. Former owners Kevin Hanchett and Mike Cooper will sell the course after almost two years of ownership and never opening the greens to golfers.

Facing irrigation and plumbing problems, the sewer district proposed the idea of buying the course and maintaining the grounds, which serve as a drain field with holding ponds for treated sewer water.

But as a sewer district, it can not operate a park. A golf course operator was needed and the sewer district considered asking the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District to run to greens. Instead, Patrick Kent proposed leasing the greens, fairways and pro shop for $1 per year while maintaining the course and, effectively, the sewer system.

"If they maintain it, it will save our homeowners a lot of money," Walker said.

Residents on the Holmes Harbor sewer line, currently hooked up to 388 homes, may save between $70,000 and $90,000 per year. That equals about $15 per month for each home.

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