Fort Ridgely 'Friends' to rally Jan. 19 for golf course
FAIRFAX -- Supporters of the golf course at Fort Ridgely State Park will hold a public rally at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Fairfax Community Center, 300 South Park Street. State Rep. Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, will discuss legislation he's introduced t...
FAIRFAX - Supporters of the golf course at Fort Ridgely State Park will hold a public rally at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Fairfax Community Center, 300 South Park Street.
State Rep. Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, will discuss legislation he's introduced that would allow the city of Fairfax to lease and operate the golf course.
The legislator expects hearings to be held on the bill in February before the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee. There will be an opportunity for golf course supporters to sign up for a bus trip to attend these legislative hearings and perhaps testify.
This legislation has bipartisan support in the Legislature, according to the Friends of Fort Ridgely State Park.
The rally will also give supporters of the golf course the opportunity to make a pledge commitment to the Friends of Fort Ridgely and city of Fairfax to acquire the necessary equipment to operate and manage the golf course and the clubhouse. Later in the spring, there will be an opportunity to purchase season passes if the legislation passes.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Parks Division plans to remove the golf course and restore the site to native prairie. The division cites the cost of operating the course and stated that operating a golf course is inconsistent with the state park's mission to preserve natural landscapes, provide nature-based recreation and interpret natural and cultural resources.
The Friends of Fort Ridgely State Park and the city of Fairfax argue that its loss would dramatically reduce state park attendance and create a negative economic blow to the city of Fairfax, other surrounding communities and Nicollet and Renville counties.
The Friends group points out that the Fort Ridgely Golf Course is one of the oldest in southern Minnesota, celebrating its 90th year in 2017.
The golf course was renovated with grass greens in 2006 at a cost of $2.1 million.
For more rally information, call Fairfax City Administrator Marcia Seibert-Volz at 507-426-7255.