Future of golf course comes up

Published 9:00 pm Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The future of the only public golf course in Warren County remains in doubt.

County Administrator John Smith informed the Warren County Board of Supervisors during their regular meeting Monday Clear Creek Golf Course will see a significant increase in their 16th section land lease with the Vicksburg Warren School District when it is due in March if action is not taken by the Mississippi Legislature.

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Smith said an appraisal was recently done on the property where the golf course is located.

“The law calls for five percent of the appraised value, so we’re looking at a $68,000 and some change lease under the present conditions, unless the state legislature intervenes and changes it for public entities that are using public property,” Smith said. According to Smith, the current lease is right around $8,000.

“That would probably end golf at a public course,” Smith said.

State Sen. Briggs Hopson, who was sitting in for county attorney Blake Teller, was in attendance and said there may be some other options. He has been in discussion with the Secretary of State’s office.

“Don’t hit the alarm button yet,” Hopson said. “I think there’s a general consensus between the school board and this board that would like to work towards a solution that is reasonable. Let’s just wait and see what kind of information we get to make this work.”

Hopson told the board he hopes to have that information by January.

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.

Parks & Rec needs more money

Smith also received a request from the Warren County Parks and Recreation Commission for an additional $25,000 to meet their November payroll.

Smith reminded the supervisors that parks and recreation is handling their payroll through December, but those duties will be taken over by the county beginning in January.

“They don’t have money to cover payroll for November,” Smith said. “For October, they had revenues of $30,716.52, which was below budgeted projections. The weather this week and the projections for next week will probably mean cash projections will probably be below for November also.”

The county has covered $65,000 for October’s docket, according to Smith.

“We normally would have given them $95,000 on October 1,” Smith said. “They are past those projections. What they have been doing is holding their bills to meet their cash needs. We’ve been trying to stop all that.”

Smith said he met with the parks and recreation support staff last week.

“My message to them was that they are going to have to get in line,” Smith said. “They’re going to have to start making some cuts, changing the way they do business, whatever, to the tune of $40,000,” Smith said.

Parks and recreation has struggled to meet their monthly expenses due to rising costs in employee insurance, more competition drawing away from the golf course and the youth leagues.

The board approved issuing the $25,000 check, but plans to have a meeting with park and recreation officials during a work session Tuesday.