City transfers former golf course to commission

By CHRISTINE STEPHENSON
cstephenson@dcherald.com

JASPER — The Jasper Common Council passed a resolution Wednesday transferring the old Ruxer Golf Course to the Jasper Redevelopment Commission so it can potentially be sold.

The old golf course was decommissioned by the Jasper Park & Recreation Board in May 2020. Before this, the board had examined the future of the facility for a while, noting that the flooding grew worse every year while the amount of time the course was open continued to decrease.

The course, which was used often by youth developing their golf skills, was useful to many but ultimately couldn’t withstand its financial problems.

If any official offers are made to purchase the property, those offers will be opened by the RDC and will likely be run past the council, as well.

“It’s a way to move forward with doing something with that property,” councilmember Nancy Eckerle said.

Mayor Dean Vonderheide said several people have expressed interest in the property.

Tom Moorman, Director of the Park & Recreation Department, was present at the Wednesday council meeting and said the transfer was an easy decision for the park board. The board had essentially made the decision last year but wanted to give Moorman, who was named director in December, time to take a look at the property himself.

“We wanted to wait and give Tom a chance to really look and see if there is anything that we could utilize it for from the recreational side, because there’s no property around like that,” Vonderheide said. “He had different groups out there looking at it, but I think it always kind of boiled down to the same thing  the flooding, which we’ve witnessed again.”

None of the nearby Jasper Riverwalk parking lot is considered part of the property, so the city will still retain it, City Attorney Renee Kabrick said. But part of the Riverwalk itself does bleed into the northernmost parcel that would be sold, so it will have to be surveyed and separated if the property does sell.

The council also:

• Approved a compliance with statement of benefits form for real property tax abatement and for personal property tax abatement from Indiana Furniture Industries Inc.

• Passed an ordinance granting the vacation of a public utility and drainage easement on the northeast side of Jasper for Jon Fleck.

• Passed an ordinance for the uniform code for traffic regarding Cathy Lane and 30th Street. This prohibits vehicles from parking on shoulders and blocking the driveways of nearby businesses.

• Passed an ordinance authorizing the execution and delivery of the first amendatory agreement to the power sales contract between Indiana Municipal Power Agency and the City of Jasper.

• Passed an ordinance amending regulations for the use of Beaver Dam Lake and certain bordering property and concerning rental fees and other matters. This fixes language to match what is already in practice and lowers the non-motorized watercraft fee from $30 to $10.

• Passed an ordinance partially repealing municipal code regarding the city’s net energy metering program. The program was given a trial run and was found to not be used by enough people so it will be discontinued for those not already using it.

• Passed an ordinance establishing interconnections standards for the City of Jasper municipal electric utility. This relates to the previous ordinance passed.

• Passed a resolution adding the transportation plan to the Impact Jasper Comprehensive Plan. This plan was presented to the Jasper Plan Commission at its February meeting and was created with the help of public input.

• Approved a gas license for Brad Haase of Altstadt Hoffman Plumbing.




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