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Council postpones vote on golf course work


A vote on additional proposed improvements to Hillside Golf Course was postponed at on Tuesday’s city council meeting due to the absence of two council members.

City manager Gary Person explained to the council that, a few years ago, the city formed a master plan for the Hillside Golf Course featuring goals for both short term and long term improvements.

“The bulk of the improvements that were needed are gonna get accomplished through the implementation of the new irrigation system and the new reservoir,” Person said.

These improvements will take care of areas of the course experiencing problems as a result of receiving inadequate amounts of water due to an old, insufficient irrigation system.

Work on a new reservoir, new building construction, a new irrigation system and pump station began last fall and is slated to start up again as soon as possible this spring. The city hopes the work will be completed before summer. The price tag for work currently approved on the course is around $1.5 million.

Those at the golf course would now like replace the area previously occupied by a pond with grassy hollows. They would also prefer remove an old line of trees and replace them with links-style features.

“There is an opportunity to do a couple more improvements that were called for in the master plan and that way we’re not putting them in later on and having to relocate some of the irrigation sprinklers and so forth because it would be much better to get it done now,” Person said.

A pond on hole five, which will be filled as soon as weather allows, caused many maintenance issues. The decision was made to remove that pond and use the materials that came out of it elsewhere on the course. The line of older cedar trees on hole 15 show wind damage and age.

“Cedar trees, just the nature of them, they suck the water out from almost anywhere around them,” Person said.

A grassy hollow is a depression with a grass bunker. From a golfing perspective when eliminating the trees and pond, there should be another obstacle to replace them, Person said. One of the existing subcontractors doing work on the course estimated the cost of these improvements at $32,000 while Staples Golf and Design, which designed the current improvements offered to complete the work in addition to its own contract for $19,000.

“It’s something that the golf committee is unanimously, strongly in favor of doing,” Person said.

Person admitted he did hear some concerns about removal of the trees.

The older trees could be replaced with more aesthetically pleasing trees, said Sidney’s mayor Wendall Gaston. Councilman Roger Gallaway agreed that he would like more trees to be added in if the current trees were taken out.

The council took no action on the matter on Tuesday because Gaston was asked by absent council members Mark Nienhueser and Joe Arterburn to postpone the vote.

“I didn’t want to postpone at least a little bit of discussion on this so people could be thinking about it,” Gaston said.

He added that he would like to hear input from citizens and members of the golfing community on the proposed changes.


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