The decommissioned portion of the Neosho Golf Course may see some new life this fall, as the city plans to allow high school cross country meets there.


The decommissioned portion of the Neosho Golf Course may see some new life this fall, as the city plans to allow high school cross country meets there.

On Tuesday the city council, less Mayor Richard Davidson and Councilman Charles Collinsworth, who who were both absent, approved a recommendation by City Manager Troy Royer to let the Neosho High School cross country team hold meets on the closed nine-holes formerly known as The Lakes. The current course is at Carver Elementary, but is being closed because of work on the new softball field.

According to Royer, the meets would be Sept. 1 and Oct. 13, both Saturdays. The team could also hold practices there on Mondays and Fridays.

“This will draw a significant amount of people here, who will maybe stay for lunch, and bring some revenue in for the city,” Royer told the council.

Rather than use the existing cart path, the school district would mow an eight-foot wide swath throughout the course to create a 3.1-mile track, according to Royer. He said he has already spoken with golf course manager Justin Beck and that mowing the strip shouldn't have an adverse affect on the bermuda grass. Royer said that parking shouldn't be a problem as visitors to the track meets would be directed to the nearby Neosho Middle School parking lot, according to conversations he said he had with cross country coach Tom Thorne.

Royer also said the city wouldn't bear the insurance liability.  

The council voted last summer to reduce the Neosho Golf Course from 27 holes to 18 holes by closing The Lakes course, which was the least used. Since then, Royer has made plans to convert the decommissioned nine hole course into a public walking area, utilizing the old cart paths. Some residents already use it for that purpose, he has previous noted.
Councilman David Ruth said when he was on the Neosho cross track team in the 1970s they used the city golf course for their meets and “it worked out great.”

“I think it's a great idea,” Ruth said. “For the school district and the city to be able to use the same facilities and the school district not have to go out and build a million-dollar cross country track, it's just great. We have a park and it would be great for that purpose. I'm all for it. I'm just really glad to hear it.”

Councilman Tom Workman said he thought the arrangement was “ideal.”

“We closed nine holes because we couldn't afford to keep them open, and if they can be used for something like this, I think it's a wonderful deal,” Workman said.

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See more coverage from Tuesday's Neosho City Council meeting in Thursday's Neosho Daily News.