City commissions feasibility study for possible purchase of Leon Valley
Friday, 20 April 2012 by Matthew Girard
The City of Belton is actively looking into adding more park space or possibly even a small golf course.
At last week's City Council meeting, the council approved an agreement with Convention, Sports and Leisure International (CSL) to evaluate the possible acquisition of the Leon Valley Golf Course, which came about after the current owners (Gate River One) approached city officials about possibly purchasing Belton's lone golf course.
"There had been some earlier plans for residential development and the owners approached us to ask if the City had any interest in it," City Manager Sam Listi said.
During a joint meeting of the City Council and Parks Board last month, Mayor Jim Covington announced the opportunity to buy the course.
The 138-acre course closed in the summer of 2009, which left the city without a golf course for the first time in 50 years.
Listi said CSL was brought in to evaluate the feasibility of the land as an addition to Heritage Park or as a golf course.
"It adjoins Heritage Park and when you see the weekend activities out there with soccer and baseball, it's a very full situation," Listi said. "So there is the potential for some additional fields in that respect, but then also golf has been expressed as an interest. Probably not an 18-hole course, but we would like them to evaluate maybe a 9-hole, Par 3-type of course to see if there is a market for that here."
According to records, the course was appraised at $827,663 in 2011.
"There's quite a bit of acreage and it has some potential for meeting some of our park needs," Listi said.
In the feasibility study, CSL will do a market analysis, building program/cost estimate and financial analysis. The study is expected to take about 12 weeks.
Listi said the purchase of Leon Valley could potentially help not only the city, but other cities in the area.
"They have identified a lot of other golf courses in the region and other sports facilities in the region that we could either compliment with (such as tournaments) other facilities in the region, which makes us more competitive," Listi said.
Listi said he has already heard some feedback from citizens about the possible purchase of the golf course, which would most likely need a bond issue for the purchase.
"We want a realistic assessment of whether it makes sense to go down this road and have some input from the citizens as well," Listi said.