By Tim Fleischer Editor-in-Chief
Billy Helm invites the community to the monthly Neighbors Night Out beginning at 6 p.m. Thurs. July 26 at the Mill Creek Pro Shop to learn more about a potential real estate deal between the Village and Mill Creek Country Club.
The Neighbors Night Out is a monthly gathering sponsored by the Mill Creek Community Association.
The owners of Mill Creek Country Club have been in negotiations with the Village of Salado for some time about the possible purchase of the golf course by the village. Since March, aldermen have met in closed door executive sessions five times to discuss “the possible acquisition of real property for public recreation/open space purposes pursuant to Chapter 551.072 of the Texas Government Code.”
After each of the executive sessions, aldermen have voted to “direct staff to proceed with matters as discussed in Executive Session.”
Following their July 19 executive session meeting, however, aldermen went a step further in directing “staff to schedule and conduct a public meeting to discuss matters related to matters discussed in executive session.”
Village administrator Don Ferguson told Salado Village Voice that he is tentatively scheduling the public meeting for the Village for the week of Aug. 6-10. A firm date will be published next week.
Helm says that he wants to talk directly to the property owners and residents of Mill Creek about the potential sale of the golf course property to the Village and its possible impact on them and their property values.
Helm said that the presentation, which will include time for questions from the audience, should last no more than 30 minutes. The presentation is not a public meeting of the aldermen, but Helm said that he invites the aldermen and mayor to come to the gathering.
In the past decade more than 800 golf courses have closed nationwide, according to a Bloomberg article “America’s Golf Courses Are Burning” by Patrick Clark published Aug. 15 2016.
With a great deal of competition among golf courses and a decline of interest in the sport across the nation, hundreds of courses have closed. Others have been purchased by local municipalities and operated as municipal courses in an effort to keep the property values of nearby residences higher.
Experts estimate that residential properties on golf courses can lose as much as 20 to 40 percent in market value when a course closes.