A special Stockton City Council Monday night found more than 100 people flooding city hall to oppose closing down the city’s two municipal golf courses.
The courses have lost more than a million dollars over the last two years.
Stockton had to pay a subsidy of $850,000 last year for Swenson and Van Buskirk golf courses and both courses need repairs that could total $10 million.
Yet almost all who spoke before the council were opposed to plans that would shut down the two public courses.
Among the possibilities would be to put sports fields at Van Buskirk and sell the 200 acres of Swenson for a development that could bring a thousand new homes to the site.
Some in the crowd told the council selling Swenson would drive present home values down and create overcrowding.
Frosty Gelbke says he plays the courses 150 times a year.
“You should keep both those golf courses. They are an asset to our community. If you close them down, you’re hurting our community,” Gelbke said.
Speaking against that idea was realtor Julie Pops.
“What would happen to the home values without that golf course. I will tell you they will drop 20-60 percent,” Pops said.
Mayor Michael Tubbs says some solution needs to be found that stops the bleeding of public funds.
“Should we continue to subsidize golf at $850,000 a year while not maintaining the 50 other parks, for me, that’s a clear no,” Tubbs said.
The council did not take any action but continues to study the problem.