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Future of golf course still unclear

By Makenna Mays, Staff Writer

An informal meeting for the residents of the proposed annexation area for Brook Hill golf course was held at Third place on Thursday, Jan. 31

Members of the LLC and town council were present to answer some of the questions residents still had about the annexation process, but a lot of questions still do not have answers.

At the start of the meeting, it was asked that residents be brief, nice and relevant with their questions and discussions.

Tim Brack, who is part of the LLC to help preserve the course, said they hope to close on a deal as soon as possible. The Renakers have given Dave White an April 1 deadline, which means if the property does not sell, it would go to auction. Brack said he's not sure if that timeframe can be adjusted.

However, the LLC does need assurances before making a deal including the agreement for annexation and the appraisals. They also do not want to wait for the property to go to auction because it would be auctioned off in six or seven pieces.

A topic of discussion that comes up at every meeting about the golf course is town ordinances and how that will affect lifestyles. Residents continue to be concerned that the use of their land will be regulated especially when it comes to animals, firearms and fires. Brookville Town Council member Curtis Ward again said it has been the intent of the town to keep those who live in the area's lifestyles the same.

A lot of frustration is stemming from the amount of information that is still unknown. Ward said they started out with a lot of unknowns and there are still a lot of unknowns. The town has yet to come out with a plan because a plan has not yet been developed as it would cost the town several thousand dollars to accommodate for the cost of engineer studies among other things.

One of those unknowns is the parameters for annexation. It is still to be determined because this is a voluntary annexation. A preliminary map was provided when this process began to show commissioners what the most restrictive annexation would look like. The last and final outlines will be dependent on the number of people that petition the town to have a voluntary annexation because that is the only method the town is willing to entertain at this point.

A good portion of the people present seemed to feel pressured into making a big decision without a lot of context.

A phrase that was repeated throughout the meeting was “the vision for the town.” This meaning there are numerous projects in Brookville that do not necessarily make the town money, but are amenities that improve quality of life such as the pool and library. Brookville is a bedroom community and bringing people here from out of town is important.

It was reiterated that this was not so much about a golf course, but about a vision of moving forward. Proposed ideas for the golf course have included green space, a park-like atmosphere with basketball and tennis courts—not just golf.

Other residents present were not necessarily against the golf course, but against paying for it themselves. It was suggested the town should be more focused on bringing business to the town. However, it was stated the revenue generated from the annexation would help the town as a whole.

While the future of Brook Hill is still unclear, it is clear that more questions still need to be answered.