Councilman seeks to move Mif proposal
Vice Mayor Doug deHaan will at tonight’s City Council meeting ask his dais-mates to move forward on a plan to lease the Mif Albright short course to a nonprofit and to lay out some money from the city’s golf fund to secure a $250,000 grant to fix up the course.
DeHaan wants city leaders to finalize a lease with the Alameda Junior Golf Association to run the nine-hole course and to allocate $100,000 from the city’s golf enterprise fund in order to secure a grant from the Wadsworth Foundation.
“I’d like to move that forward and make sure we don’t lose out on the funding,” deHaan said. He said he’d like to make sure that upgrades to the par-3 course get done.
Golfers have said they’re concerned about the slow pace of negotiations with both the Junior Golf Association and KemperSports, the company vying to become the golf complex’s long-term operator. The foundation said it could be flexible after the city said it couldn’t meet their original deadline to accept the Wadsworth grant, though an official there told The Island in August that he’s been looking at other courses in the Bay Area and that the city needs to move forward by the end of this year.
They said they’re busily preparing for a new Mif. Golfers have hosted two youth-oriented tournaments, and a golf architect from the Wadsworth Foundation has drawn up an assessment outlining potential fixes for the course.
“I am pleased that Vice Mayor deHaan is not waiting for the city and has put the kids golf course on Tuesday’s agenda,” said Joe VanWinkle, who authored the business plan the junior golf association has offered for the Mif. “We cannot risk losing this generous grant from Wadsworth. I am confident the council will come together to support Alameda’s youth.”
The city closed the Mif Albright course in November 2008 but reopened it on a trial basis in the spring of 2009, and it remains open. Council members told city officials in March to negotiate with both the golf association and Kemper to run the Mif and the rest of the complex, respectively.
Golfers fearing the par-3 course could be closed formed a nonprofit they hoped could take over the course, which they said is needed by youths just learning to play the game and seniors who can’t walk a full, 18-hole course, and they quickly raised money to operate it. Their plans have garnered praise from both Wadsworth and The First Tee, a national organization that seeks to build character in youths by teaching them the sport.