'I think there's a way out for us' Mayoral candidate hosts public forum on future of city parks/golf courses

When it comes to golfing in Terre Haute, it's a popular pastime that some say is dwindling away.

Posted: Jan 24, 2018 11:44 PM
Updated: Jan 25, 2018 8:08 AM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - When it comes to golfing in Terre Haute, it's a popular pastime that some say is dwindling away.

"We know that the senior folks are passing and that was the growing population," said Bill Foraker, "but we've got more boomers coming along though."

Many say there is room to grow. That's why people, like Foraker, filled the room at the Vigo County Public Library on Wednesday. 

That's where Mayoral Candidate Pat Goodwin held a public forum focused on the future of Terre Haute's parks, specifically its two golf courses Rea Park and Hulman Links.

"There's a single pass for both courses," Foraker said, "The courses are very different and different people play those courses, and it seems to me that there's an opportunity there to differentiate that, the two markets."

Better marketing for both courses was one of the many suggestions given at Wednesday's meeting.

"I think there's a way out for us," said Goodwin, "but we have to commit to our public parks and say they're important to us, and we are going to support them and fund them to the level that we need to so that they can be the assets that we know they can be."

Goodwin says the city's financial problems are a big reason that parks funding has plummeted.

"Every year the city is finishing the year in the red," he said, "Then city council, rightly, starts looking at ways to cut, and one of the places that unfortunately always looks as a target for being cut is parks, and specifically, golf courses."

In a PowerPoint, Goodwin also presented his findings from proposals sent to the mayor's office for private management regarding the city's golf courses from last year, as well as park finances.

The forum, Foraker says, is just a small piece to a big puzzle. However, he hopes to see more transparency from local government, as well as involvement from the public, when it comes to the future of Terre Haute.

"I think the public generally feels like they don't know who to talk to and that if they do talk to somebody, nobody cares," he said, "I think we've got a city council now that is very good, very invigorating, but I still don't think we have a city government that's really making an effort to be transparent and provide the information to the people and the council that they probably could." 

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