Terrace debating future of Ballinger Lake Golf Course

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — The City Council plans to take up the issue of the future of Ballinger Lake Golf Course at a meeting scheduled for Monday night.

The city-owned golf course closed Nov. 5 after Tyrone and Carol Hardy, a husband and wife, and the president and vice-president of Hardy Golf LLC, announced they would no longer operate it.

They had a lease agreement to run the nine-hole golf course through Dec. 31, 2015. The city says it is looking into legal issues over that contract.

At a meeting last month, the City Council received a report on the possible future of the golf course located at 23000 Lakeview Drive, Mountlake Terrace.

The options include finding a new golf course operator; having the city operate the golf course and manage the clubhouse as a Recreation and Parks Department program; or consider transitioning the golf course to a passive open space and hiring a private vendor to operate and maintain the clubhouse.

Another option is to allow the golf course to revert to a natural state to help improve water quality on Lake Ballinger and downstream from the lake.

Several people at the Dec. 17 meeting said the Lake Ballinger Golf Course needed to be maintained better and faced stiff competition from nicer 18-hole courses in the area, including the Nile Golf Course across the lake.

The council plans to discuss the options at 7 p.m. at the Mountlake Terrace Interim City Hall, 6100 219th Street SW, Suite 220, second floor.

Ballinger Lake isn’t the only troubled golf course in Snohomish County.

The city of Lynnwood was dinged last month by the state auditor for borrowing millions from city funds, including the utility fund, to pay for the golf course. State auditors said the city needed to make a plan for the golf course to repay its debt.

Snohomish County bought the Wellington Hills Golf Course near Maltby a year ago and then shut it down last fall. The county plans to open a large regional sports complex on the 100-acre nine-hole course.

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