Nonprofit plan hatched to reopen Holmes Harbor Golf Course

Holmes Harbor Golf Course at Freeland will reopen next month as a public facility, if community members and the Holmes Harbor Sewer District have their way.

A nonprofit corporation, the Holmes Harbor Recreation Association, has been formed to operate the 18-hole golf course, which was closed by its private owner on March 14 for economic reasons.

A community meeting outlining the association's plan is scheduled next week. The group hopes to reopen the course on May 17.

"A lot of things have to come together, but it's doable," Stan Walker, president of the sewer district board of commissioners, said Thursday.

"Our hope is to increase play and drop prices 10 percent and break even," Walker said. "That's all we have to do."

The golf course is essential to the sewer district as an outlet for water from its nearby treatment plant through the golf course's sprinkler system.

The district has been paying for mowing and other maintenance on the course since it closed to ensure proper evaporation, a cost that projects to about $80,000 a year, Walker said.

Under the new plan, the recreation association would take over that cost from the sewer district, he said.

Owners of the course, Holmes Harbor Community Partners, is permitting free use of its facilities and equipment. The reopened course would include use of the pro shop portion of the clubhouse, but there would be no bar or restaurant, Walker said.

A five-member recreation association interim board has been formed to oversee the course. Down the road, the sewer district hopes to buy the golf course itself "so this kind of closure will never happen again," Walker said.

The golf course and clubhouse have been for sale for more than a year.

Next week's public meeting outlining the association's plan will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 29 in the Trinity Lutheran Church gymnasium in Freeland.

Walker said the association's interim board members, all Holmes Harbor residents, will be introduced at the meeting, and that memberships will be sold and tax-free donations collected. He said backers of the effort hope to raise about $20,000 to get the project off the ground.

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