Duluth City Councilors Vote 7-0 to Downsize Lester Park Golf Course

The vote means the "Lake Nine" holes will be closed after the 2019 season making the total number of holes at 18 at Lester Park.

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth city councilors voted 7-0 in favor of a plan to downsize the financially struggling Lester Park golf course on Monday.

Councilors Em Westerlund and Jay Fosle were absent.

The vote means the “Lake Nine” holes will be closed after the 2019 season — making the total number of holes at 18 at Lester Park.

The vote also means 50 acres of the golf course could potentially be used to make way for multi-family housing with an affordable component.

10 acres at Enger Park Golf Course, which is now home to the driving range, will also be allocated for housing with an affordable component.

This vote comes after a comprehensive study on Duluth public golf courses that are $2.4 million in debt.

“We have a lot of public facilities in this city which are old and in desperate need of investment and maintenance and we don’t have the resources to maintain them all and we can’t maintain public facilities that no longer have a constituency and it’s clear we have more public golf holes than we can support,” stated Joel Sipress, a Duluth city councilor at Monday’s meeting.

The downsized 18-hole course will operate through the 2022 season.

The city will then see how financially stable the operation is by that time.

The vote does allow the golf course to be closed in 2022 if it’s not performing as expected.

 

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