When asked at the May 26 meeting about if a city-wide vote would be considered for the expansion at the Pierz Golf Course, the response was that the city of Pierz doesn’t need to have referendums. Also stated was that this is why we elect the council members to make those decision on our behalf.
Yes, we elect our representatives to make decisions on roads, engineering and other things that occur on a regular basis, but spending over $1 million by adding nine holes to the Pierz Golf Course is not an everyday occurrence but more close to a once in a century event as our current golf course was built in the 1930s. Information from LMC states that only if bonding is necessary is there a requirement for voter approval. Because the plan is to use an “Enterprise” fund that the city of Pierz taxpayers have paid into and built up over the decades, bonding is not necessary, so there will be no vote.
The council members, including those that were not part of the decision to purchase the 60-plus acres, now have it on their shoulders to decide what to do with the property and how to spend the taxpayers’ dollars.
Because of the cost of bringing the infrastructure necessary to that area, the campground expansion that originally was proposed as the use of the purchase in 2016 per the archived article, was abandoned and it wasn’t until 2018 that the idea of another nine holes for the golf course came under consideration. As stated in last week’s article in the Morrison County Record, others also cannot find information to support that a “need” for another nine holes exists. Council members had requested that data be gathered to base this huge decision on, but no information was brought forward at the meeting.
Because of where I have resided for the past near 33 years, I easily see the activity on the golf course. With three minutes allowed per person to speak, I gave examples of two Saturdays in May of 2021 where the weather was perfect for golf but, when on the golf course, it felt like there was nobody else golfing. Campers aren’t using up all the golf times on the weekend this year or any previous year, either. Even in 2020, when golf courses were the only thing opened for a period, the course was not overwhelmed.
People lead busy lives these days with having lake homes, kids’ activities and the like. It would be interesting to know how many people have not been able to get on the course when calling for a tee time over the last two years or with the campground expansion also in the plans, what percentage of campers use the golf course. Again, if this or any other information was gathered, it wasn’t shared.
Based on those individuals that voiced their opinion at the May 26 meeting, though not all were city of Pierz residents, it will be no surprise that this project does go forward. The city of Pierz residents who not only have paid in the dollars to add another nine holes, will also be incurring higher costs to sustain it. As it would be absolutely devastating to the city of Pierz if the “moderate” projections that somehow were arrived at did not come to fruition, I sincerely hope that the “build it and they will come” premise, rather than a need basis for which this project will go forward on, is a success. Pierz will then have its own field of dreams story to tell.
Joanne Broschofsky is a resident of Pierz.