The Madison County Golf Course

In preparation for this evening's Madison Meadows Golf Association meeting, I took the time to produce a chart outlining all the potential outcomes which could affect the course and its operations. There's been a great deal of discussion surrounding the proposed golf course district ballot initiative, but what's been lacking is a blunt explanation of what could happen in a variety of scenarios over the next few years.

To begin, we need to evaluate the following facts:

1) The golf course was created by a land grant from multiple landowners in Madison County.
2) If the County ceases operation of the course, the land reverts to the original owners. Then, the County must purchase an additional 90 acres of land and construct a new golf course at considerable expense.
3) The golf association's operating lease expires in a matter of weeks after which the operation of the course becomes the responsibility of the County.
4) The golf course requires a new irrigation system and other capital improvements to remain operational.

Whether you play golf daily or you believe that the game is "a good walk spoiled", the harsh reality is that the course is a County asset, and the voters and taxpayers of the district or the County are responsible for what happens next. My own preference is that the proposed ballot issue pass by a wide margin thereby alleviating the uncertainty for my potential term as commissioner. Barring the passage of the proposed ballot issue, the next step is holding a special election where the funding issue is posed to the entirety of the County for their consideration. I am most comfortable with continued funding for the course coming from a voter approved ballot issue as it permits the type of budgetary self-determination that I prefer as a voter. Should both these options fail to advance with voter approval, the County is left with three remaining paths and none of them are very palatable.

The attached chart is intended to be a starting point for the broader discussion. With that in mind, I now request that the Madison County Commissioners conduct a full economic analysis of the options with the greatest haste so we can all make the best possible decision for each of our household's finances.


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