A proposal to transform the former LaCroix Links Golf Course into a disc golf course with foot-and-bike paths passed on Tuesday out of the city's public works committee.
The Rapid City Council will decide on May 6 whether to advertise bids for the $80,000 project.
The measure passed Tuesday with little discussion, but officials present for the vote appeared hopeful that local interest in the sport will re-inject life into the city-owned, 25-acre course that closed last summer when the Rapid City YMCA ceased operating it.
"I think it’s really important for our younger people," said Councilmember Darla Drew. "It certainly is a younger sport, and I think it’s an important part of our community and an easy way to develop this new area.”
If approved, the project would establish a new public park that would double as Rapid City's third disc golf course. Two others are located on Jackson Boulevard and on Omaha Street, respectively.
City Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Biegler said the project was pitched to the city by members of the local disc golf scene, including ones belonging to the Black Hills Disc Golf Club. There is a desire among members, he said, for a third course in the city's east side.
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“I think they’re real happy that there’s going to be an opportunity now in that part of town for folks to play disc golf," Biegler said.
City Spokesperson Darrell Shoemaker said the estimated cost covers the installation of concrete tee pads, signage and benches in addition to a hard-surface path that would link the property's clubhouse, parking lot and playground. Construction could conclude as early as this fall, he said.
Biegler said the course would be open to the public for use at no charge. Existing holes and greens will not be utilized for disc golf he said, and no regrading will be necessary for the project.
The course is still accessible and has functioned as a park in the time that YMCA quit leasing it. It had operated the course since 2003 and began funding it without city subsidies in 2006.
Rapid City put $100,000 into the course over the first three years of the YMCA's lease.
But the cost of maintenance, staffing and compensating instructors from local youth golf program First Tee eventually grew too high for the YMCA to bear. In 2017 alone, Executive Director Roger Gallimore previously said, maintaining the course cost $60,000 more than was made back in use fees.