County ponders future of Clear Creek Golf Course

Published 8:04 pm Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The future of Clear Creek Golf Course being owned and operated by Warren County is uncertain if the parks and recreation department does not get an increase in its budget.

“If we don’t get it (funding increase), then the golf course has got to go,” Dale McDuff, parks and recreation District 1 board member, told the Warren County Board of Supervisors during their work session this week.

Clear Creek, located at Exit 11 near Bovina on I-20, is one of only two county-owned golf courses in Mississippi. The 18-hole course opened in 1977.

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Parks and recreation, which also takes care of the youth soccer complex on Tiffentown Road, is seeking an increase of $82,000 more in their budget.

McDuff and Mary Sellers told the supervisors that parks and recreation continues to struggle to meet their monthly expenses due to rising costs in employee health insurance, more competition drawing away from the golf course and the youth leagues, and the 16th section land lease to the Vicksburg Warren School District.

Earlier this year, golf course fees were increased at the request of the supervisors to bring in more revenue, but McDuff said membership went down approximately 35 percent. They said most of their members are retirees and the increase in fees has caused some to look elsewhere to play golf.

“A lot of people have gone to surrounding courses in Tallulah, Pearl and Raymond,” McDuff said.

Sellers expects revenue to fall even more in August and September as fewer people play rounds of golf.

Board of Supervisors President Richard George said the board will consider their options.

“We’re supposed to be a retirement community and supposed to have certain amenities that are attractive to business and industry and as well as our normal expectations to enhance the community,” George said. “You have to weigh all that together with are we going to continue to have a golf facility or not. If we are going to have one, we’re going to have to support it. That’s the bottom line.”

McDuff said it’s expensive to run a golf course, as well as the upkeep on a soccer complex.

“Y’all have the final say and final decision and we’ll try to do anything you ask us to to try and save it, whatever it takes,” McDuff said. “But I don’t want to see it close. I don’t want to see the golf course close and I don’t want to see the poor kids left out of soccer.”