Could part of a Wilmington golf course turn into a park?

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Part of a Wilmington golf course may soon become a new park, but one city council candidate says the current city leaders need to get their priorities straight.

Half of the 18 fairways at Inland Greens Golf Course look like the rough.  Now, the City of Wilmington may give those nine holes a complete makeover.

"The city's plan, if we go ahead with the purchase of the property, is to keep the 9 holes intact and use that for our junior golf academy and for those who want to use it as a par three, 9-hold course," said Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo.  "The other part would be similar to what we have at Halyburton Park."

If approved, the city would use its remaining money from a $17.5 million parks bond from 2006.

The city has also expressed interest in buying another piece of riverfront property and turning that into a park, but not everyone likes the idea.

City council candidate Michael DeHart said other issues should take priority.

"At this point and time, our needs are not addressed," said DeHart.  "We have needs we need to address like our police, fire, and roads, before anything like the parks funding takes place."

While it would be attractive to have a park along the Cape Fear River, Saffo said that city officials must keep the promise they made to tax payers.

"Funding is a serious concern of ours," said Saffo.  "One of the commitments we made to the city taxpayers is that we would hold the line on taxes.  I don't see us moving forward on something like that this year."

Council would have to approve any land purchase before it happens.

Mayor Saffo said the golf course has been appraised at close to $600,000.  The current amount of money left from the parks bond is $1 million.

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