Council cool to Quigley Canyon golf
Hailey officials await formal
By MATT FURBER
Express Staff Writer
The Hailey City Council made no move to
respond to a presentation by the Blaine County Recreation District for a
cooperative public golf course in Quigley Canyon at a city council meeting
Monday, Dec. 8.
Residents attending a Blaine County
Recreation District presentation about a golf course proposal for Quigley Canyon
view a draft map of the plan. Express photos by Willy Cook
The presentation given by members of the
Rec District offered a general description of a plan for a 212-acre golf course
that has been in development for many years and could provide a much needed
revenue stream for the recreation district.
The proposal includes an
Audubon-certified, 18-hole golf course that would be designed by golf course
architect John Harbottle III, who designed the Banbury Golf course in Eagle, and
the Ridgecrest Golf course in Nampa. Both courses have been recognized for being
challenging and for providing wildlife habitat.
In the winter the course would have
groomed Nordic skiing trails, said Keith Perry, recreation district board
chairman, who gave the presentation with Executive Director Mary Austin Crofts,
board member Tim Hamilton and Quigley Ranch representative and planning
consultant, John Gaeddert.
A clubhouse would double as a community
center. A picnic area and other open space amenities would be incorporated in
the plan, Perry said
The recreation district offers youth and
adult recreation programs and maintains the North Valley and Harriman trails,
Galena Lodge and the Blaine County Aquatic Center in Hailey.
"The (Rec District) has taken on more
programs and users as the county has grown," Hamilton said. The increase in
programming has put a strain on the budget and staff. The golf course could be
an asset that would help pay for things, he said.
Owners of the Quigley Ranch would like to
know if the City Council would like to enter into a cooperative agreement for
the public golf course.
Mayor Susan McBryant said the Rec District
made a good proposal, but the details and public debate about the project would
have to wait until a formal annexation proposal is submitted.
"It was a really useful presentation," she
Planning consultant and property
representative John Gaeddert said the developers would like to get some input
from the city about the level of interest in a cooperative agreement before
deciding to go forward with a formal application. He said if the city is not
interested in participating in the project, it may not be worth spending the
money associated with an annexation application.
Plans for the 1,300-acre property include
a housing development for between 225 to 250 homes that would be separate from
the golf facility. Two percent of the housing sales would go to support
recreation under the plan.
Homeowners and donors would be granted
advanced tee time signup, but the course would be an inexpensive, quality
alternative to other courses in the valley, Perry said. Projections of use by
golfers from the Wood River Valley and from visitors could provide a $2.3
million annual revenue stream within 10 years, he said.
"We hope in 10 years this course would
throw off substantial cash to fund other programs," Hamilton said.
The Rec District has a $2 million annual
budget, up from $1.2 million in 1998. One-third of its funding comes from county
tax dollars, and the rest of the budget comes from user fees and fund-raising.
Fifty-eight percent of the 1998 budget was supported by taxes.
The dilemma for the Rec District is that
the need for the proceeds of a project like the golf course has gotten greater,
but the ability to manage the project alone has decreased, Hamilton said.