Advocate editorial board opinion: Our recreational parks must be maintained
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Once again, the enjoyable temperatures and pleasant, sunny weather of spring have come to Victoria. And in preparation for this perfect time in South Texas, the Victoria City Council has approved on a 6-1 vote a fund transfer of $37,500 to recondition nine greens on the Riverside Golf Course.
We are glad to see the city willing to keep these recreational areas in good condition for the people of Victoria. At the same time, we agree with Councilmen David Hagan and Joe Truman that, while this expense may be necessary, the management of the course should begin to plan ahead and find a way to cover such expenses without asking the city for supplemental funds.
We understand the reasoning behind keeping fees low. It allows people in the community who may not have enough money for a country club membership a place where they can come and play their favorite sport. But we do think the course should explore other possibilities to help cover these necessary expenses.
Currently, annual dues at the course range from $200 for junior memberships to $600 for people from 19-65 years of age. Perhaps a couple of annual fundraisers are in order. The golf course should show good faith in trying to raise the funds before coming to the city council.
Randy Vivian, president of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, says the city's involvement in the golf courses is a good thing that is creating a positive impact on the local economy, as well as earning Victoria a reputation for having quality golf courses.
And that reputation encourages people from outside the area to come here, including Winter Texans, tourists and semi- and professional golfers headed to a tournament - all of these visitors boost other areas of the local economy, including restaurants, retail, entertainment and hotels.
Vivian, president of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, said he considers Riverside Golf Course to be the best, most well-maintained course in South Texas. He also said he heard many positive comments about the Victoria Country Club Golf Course, where the Adams Golf Pro Mini-Tour was played in March. The winner of the tour, Brian Rowell, even mentioned how great the shape of the course was, considering the recent drought.
"Anytime we as a city can improve our amenities is a good thing," Vivian said.
We applaud the city council for taking this step to maintain an important part of Victoria's park structure, and we encourage the Riverside Golf Course to search for ways to operate in a more business-like manner.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.