A couple weeks ago, The Citizen brought you a thorough look at the current ins and outs of the situation with Shiloh Springs Golf Course, the Platte County Commission and the Platte County Parks and Recreation Department. This is not a simple matter, and it won’t be resolved quickly. If you are into Platte County politics, think jail capacity issues.
You will be reading about this for a while, regardless of if you care about golf or not.
Obviously, there’s more golf news out there, and you can catch up starting on the front page of this week’s edition. A couple of encouraging signs can be taken from the commission’s decision this week to start negotiations with a management firm to take over operations at Shiloh.
First, presiding commissioner Ron Schieber, early in his tenure, voted for the proposal and seemed amicable to finding a working solution. He doesn’t make it secret that he’s no fan of the county being in the golf business.
Second, Platte County auditor Kevin Robinson gave support to the idea of changing the course’s status as an enterprise fund. That’s a fancy way of saying it’s revenues should cover its expenses, which it currently doesn’t.
None of our parks generate profit, and the tax the voters have twice approved to fund the system provides ample money to support the majority of desired projects in Platte County, including the golf course that some truly see as an asset to our community.
There are those who would disagree, but for now, parks money is parks money, so the golf course can stay as long as voters support the tax, which could sunset later this decade.
What fun the discussion on renewal will be if the current climate is any indication.
For now, the commission seems committed to keeping the golf course, but remember that only covers the immediate future. A sale could bring any number of golf-less possibilities down the road once the county has no more say.
And if the course goes completely off the county’s books, that could reignite the desire to repurpose some of the parks tax money.
You didn’t forget about the unfunded emergency radios did you? And the outcries for more law enforcement support? Oh, and that potentially expanding/renovated jail.
Those who see the parks and recreation budget as bloated probably won’t stop seeking that money out to help in other areas.
I’d just advise keeping a close eye on how the situation progresses. There’s still a lot left to decide.
Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.