GARRETT – Proponents of a disc golf course in Garrett brought their vision to the Garrett Common Council on Tuesday.
Garrett Resident and business owner Beau Schendel, along with members of the Garrett Parks Authority, presented a pared-down version of their original plan for an 18-hole course to now include nine holes due to Wetland issues at a proposed site at Ocker Park on the north side of town. That plan carried an estimated $ 15,000 cost.
Findings presented by City Planner Milton Otero at the council’s April 5 meeting said remedial costs and government requirements for the site could be as high as $ 8 million. While Schendel’s new plan for a nine-hole course skirts much of the Wetland area, he is open to other sites in town if available. He noted hundreds of positive social media posts in favor of adding a disc golf course for the decision to move forward with plans.
“I see nothing but good things coming from this sport,” Schendel said, noting the many area communities who now have disc golf courses.
Funding is not an issue, with donations in place to cover the cost of concrete pads and baskets. City resources would not be required, according to Schendel.
“We don’t want to be behind the ball. This is a growing sport, ”he added.
The course would provide an inexpensive source of recreation for all ages and skill levels, and could be incorporated with Garrett-Keyser-Butler Schools as part of its Athletic curriculum. Cost would be free to play, but some courses charge a dollar or two to use, they added. Disc golf tournaments also attracts hundreds of competitors and fans to the sites, as well.
Chrissy DePew, a member of the Parks Authority, said the plan would not carry an $ 8 million cost, and suggested land along the Railroad in Ocker Park could possibly be added to extend the course to 18 holes in the future. Currently, city Parks are kind of landlocked, she added.
An 18-hole course is more desirable, but nine holes is a great start.
DePew said the Park Authority found the need for the city to update facilities with new people moving in. It wants to focus on Younger Residents and adding new and innovative ideas.
Council members were positive about the planning, but the final decision would be made by the Board of Works.
Councilman Todd Sattision said he is “in favor of anything to get youth outside.”
Earlier in the day, leaders of the Garrett Youth Football asked the Board of Works to consider adding park acreage for their program, and suggested including the disc golf course in plans.
Council member Amanda Charles also Suggested the two groups work together during discussion.
On a side note, DePew said a wooden dugout at the girls softball field collapsed within an hour of being used by team members, including her daughter, during strong winds last week. A similar dugout still stands.
Mayor Todd Fiandt said the Parks Department and insurance company are currently working on replacing the dugout in the next two weeks.
In other business, the council adopted an Ordinance providing fines prohibiting illegal dumping of solid waste. The measure is citywide, not just for the recycling bins on East Quincy Street. Plans are moving forward to install cameras and lighting at the recycling site to help enforce the Ordinance.
The council also moved forward on granting tax abatement for a longtime local industry.
JDBM LLC, a real estate holding company from Fort Wayne, asked for a real estate abatement, while Mossberg Industries asked for a tax break for new equipment. The holding company also owns Bralin Laser Services of Auburn, Electric Motors & Specialties Inc. in Garrett and XY Tool & Die in LaOtto.
The abatement covers six years and represents a savings of $ 2,295,000 for the new east building expansion. The percentage of the assessed value exempt from real property taxes would be 100% in the first three years; 75% exempt in years four and five, and 50% in year six.
Mossberg also received a three-year personal property abatement, with a savings of $ 500,000 for new equipment. The terms of this abatement would be three years. The percentage of the assessed value exempted from personal property taxes would be 100% in years one and two and 50% in the third year.
Tuesday’s action by the council was needed to include a missing step in the process prior to a final vote by the council at a future session.
Also Tuesday, the council approved a resolution to enter an inter-local agreement with the Town of Altona to piggyback on Garrett’s contract with Washler Inc. to provide trash pickup for Residents.