COVINGTON -- City officials are gathering information about a possible purchase of Indian Creek Golf Course, which closed in November.
Councilman Keith Dalton suggested the council look into the matter at a recent meeting regarding the Norfolk Southern rail line purchase. The council has asked for additional information regarding cost and upkeep of the property and should hear back after the first of the year, Dalton said.
"It's right here in town, and somebody spent a lot of money clearing and grading and making it nice," he said of the approximately 180-acre property. Dalton said the spot would make an ideal recreation facility with its existing walking trails, green space and clubhouse, which could possibly be used for community events. It might also serve as an alternative location for the planned downtown civic center, he said.
"I don't know the difference between this and buying some of these repossessed houses," he said, referring to the city's housing initiative.
"From a recreation standpoint, it made sense. We'll never get it as cheap as we can right now," he said.
However, Dalton said that without looking at all the numbers, he couldn't say if the purchase would be a good financial investment for the city.
"Do I think we need to be in the golf course business? I really don't know," he said.
Numerous attempts to reach Indian Creek Golf Club owner Bryan Raynes over the last few weeks have been unsuccessful.
Dalton, a vocal opponent of the proposed purchase of the Norfolk Southern rail corridor and conversion into a trail, said it makes more sense to buy the golf course with trails already in place and a multitude of other uses possible versus spending as much as $3 million on about 5 miles of the railroad corridor inside city limits that would not cover the cost of conversion into a trail. The city has more than $1 million in grant monies for that project but officials have not yet claimed the money from the federal government. A committee has been formed to gather more information about the rail corridor purchase. Dalton brought up purchase of the golf course at the committee's first meeting in early December.