The efforts by the Friends of Fort Ridgely to preserve the Fort Ridgely State Park golf course and keep it operating hit another obstacle on Tuesday, when the Fairfax City Council couldn’t get a second on a motion to enter an agreement with the Department of Natural Resources to assume the management of the course.
It could be the idea of preserving the golf course is running up against cold, hard reality.
The City of Fairfax has been a major factor in the efforts to preserve the golf course. The city council authorized a proposal the the DNR last last fall to take over management of the golf course. The DNR had rejected it, and during the past legislative session lawmakers passed legislation requiring the DNR to reach an agreement with Fairfax.
But the Fairfax City Council has been reluctant to enter the agreement in the past month. The main issue has been the funds needed to run the course this year. The city wants the cash on hand before it takes on the responsibility, while a lot of the donations are in the form of pledges. Even a massive fundraising effort the past couple of weeks hasn’t changed the council’s mind.
Besides the money issue, councilors seem to be hearing from citizens who don’t want the city getting into the golf course business.
So, what seemed a good idea last fall is running up against the cold, hard reality of assuming risks — financial and political — that come with the operation of the golf course.
We don’t know what it would take to change the councilors’ mind, but without Fairfax’s involvement, the dream of keeping the Fort Ridgely Golf Course open is running out of options.