Little Rock mayor agrees to close golf courses at War Memorial, Hindman parks

The Little Rock board of directors discusses golf operations on Tuesday.

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. on Tuesday accepted a recommendation from city staff to cease golf operations at Little Rock’s War Memorial and Hindman parks.

Earlier this month, the city board approved nearly $2.1 million in cuts to Little Rock’s budget for 2019. The budget amendment included a policy decision to close and repurpose two of the city’s four golf courses, though the measure city directors approved did not specify which two.

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Vision plan for War Memorial Park

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John Eckart, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, cited financial factors and a study on the feasibility of golf in Little Rock that was presented to the city board in April when giving the recommendation to city directors on Tuesday.

In 2018, the city spent nearly $2.6 million to support four golf courses that made about $1.4 million in revenue, according to numbers provided by the city. The courses also saw deficits in 2017 and 2016.

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Vision plan for Hindman Park

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Eckart and parks design manager Leland Couch spoke on how the two parks could be repurposed with multiple recreation opportunities, including bike trails and playgrounds.

Several residents spoke against the closure of the two courses during the public comment portion of the meeting, touting the diverse communities they serve.

Scott noted the difficulty of the decision but said it ultimately stemmed from a desire for fiscal stewardship and revitalization.

“What you’re seeing today is a commitment to revitalize, reinvest and reimagine,” Scott said

Read Wednesday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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