In last week’s letter to the editor titled “Golf course benefits entire community” the author concludes by asking, “There is only one skate park, would we take that out as not …
In last week’s letter to the editor titled “Golf course benefits entire community” the author concludes by asking, “There is only one skate park, would we take that out as not everyone uses it?”
This is a false analogy as the skate park is .33 acres whereas the golf course is 58 acres, or 174 times the size of the skate park. If the skate park were 58 acres, would anyone say that was a good use of public land?
Why do we allow golfers, who represent a tiny fraction of the population, to monopolize so much space? By the golf course’s own numbers, a paltry 32 rounds of golf were played in the entire month of August 2022, or just over one round/day! In all of 2021, there were 212 rounds played, or .58 rounds/day. If it takes about two hours to play a round of golf, this means that the golf course sat empty approximately 95 percent of the year with it being used by a single golfer the other 5 percent. If you don’t believe me, just drive past the golf course almost any time of day.
Furthermore, unlike the golf course, the skate park doesn’t use vast sums of water, supplied by the city at zero cost. According the lease agreement, the golf course enjoys up to 9 million gallons of city water per year free of charge while paying a mere 6.5 percent of sales (or $10K, whichever is greater) in taxes.
The skate park also doesn’t require large quantities of fertilizers and gasoline, both of which are damaging to our environment.
In other words, the golf course is a poor use of public land, and one that I would argue is a net loss for our community and environment as opposed to a net benefit.
Thankfully, there is something you can do to help right this wrong. Please consider submitting a comment at cityofpt.us, attending the open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11 at the Fort Worden Commons, and talking with your friends and neighbors about this issue.
Public opinion will play an important role in the city’s decision about the future of the golf course. I hope you will make your voice heard in support of a more inclusive, equitable, and environmentally responsible use of our public land.
Gabe Van Lelyveld
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