0924_dnr_Golf_4

In the 2020 adopted budget, Heritage Oaks was budgeted a combined nearly $1.29 million — $732,502 for grounds management and $553,512 for clubhouse management — according to city documents.

City leadership has formed a reopening committee to discuss when facilities, such as Heritage Oaks, can resume usual operations, according to a Tuesday email from Michael Parks, the spokesman for the city of Harrisonburg.

Parks said in the email that there is no timeline for the reopening and that the city will not reopen any of its facilities, including City Hall, Heritage Oaks or any other Parks and Recreation buildings, until staff is certain of the safety for visitors and staff.

Some regulars of Heritage Oaks have voiced concerns that the closure continued to drag down revenues for the park, especially as other golf courses in the Valley have remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

City Manager Eric Campbell explained the reasoning for the closure at the May 12 City Council meeting. He said when Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued the stay-at-home order, employees of the course employees were given the same option as other city employees.

“We decided that it was safer to go ahead with [Heritage Oak’s] employees to give them the same amount of leave, the same amount of safety, and it immediately effected the staffing levels,” Campbell said during the meeting.

In the 2020 adopted budget, Heritage Oaks was budgeted a combined nearly $1.29 million — $732,502 for grounds management and $553,512 for clubhouse management — according to city documents.

In the amended budget for fiscal year 2021, that amount has been reduced to $487,330 for grounds management and $330,435 for clubhouse management.

Parks said city staff cannot share exact details of the budget cuts at this time, but that attention is being paid to make sure the quality of guests’ visit to the park is not reduced. He said the sources of the cuts are still under consideration.

Parks said that the initial revenue expectations for Heritage Oaks have become much more difficult to predict due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If we are able to have the course open by July 1, those projections could hold true. It’s impossible to know as of today,” Parks said in the email.

He also said that staff is looking at changing the prices for daily fees, cart rentals and season passes to Heritage Oaks.

Contact Ian Munro at 574-6278 or imunro@dnronline.com. Follow Ian on Twitter @iamIanMunro

(4) comments

Donald

I have no interest in golf. I have never had any interest in golf. I am relatively sure I will never have any interest in golf. That said, given the comments made by current local politicians and presumptive new politicians to city council, there is an eagerness to get rid of the golf course and converting the land into another park or perhaps a high density housing complex.

They claim they want to save money, but in reality they simply want to divert the money to other social projects more to their ideological liking (the money will not go back to the tax payer).

I think the stereotype of those who engage in the pastime of golf is one of above average income white males – and to a lesser extent, white females. Whether this stereotype is true of the demographic of those who use this golf course I do not know, but in regard to popular stereotypes facts do not matter. I think what is behind the political move to eliminate the golf course is both class animosity and racial animosity. The claimed ‘losses’ are simply a smoke screen. Those ‘losses’ will be spent elsewhere for a savings to the tax payer of zero dollars.

prodigalson

Great post Donald. I agree. I find it interesting, though, that some of the folks now lamenting the shuttering of the golf course are above average income, caucasian, liberal demokkkrats like LVW. These folks are being bitten by the monster that they, themselves created. I must admit that I find humor in it.

LVW

prod: I know a lot of golfers, and I think I can count on one hand the number of them that are liberal. The "usual suspects" I play will are, with a single exception, conservative. In fact, some of the more conservative folks are contributors to this site.

Donald: I don't think the "country club" stereotype holds for Heritage Oaks golfers. I know a lot of them, and while they aren't destitute by any means, most are middle-class types. You'd find higher-income folks at Spotswood Country Club.

prodigalson

I actually know quite a few liberal golfers LVW, and I don't even golf. All of that having been said, I have no problem with people golfing, or with the Heritage Oaks Golf Course. I actually think that keeping the golf course open makes a lot more sense than some of the other things the lefties have proposed (turning the course into "housing for the homeless", for instance). Additionally, I am not suggesting that golf is a liberal sport. I know plenty of conservative golfers as well. My point is simply that eventually, you liberals end up getting caught up in the snares that you set for other people (this being one example), and I find it humorous.

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