Citizens weigh in on the future of the Municipal Golf Course

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The debate rages on about the future of the Becky Peirce Municipal Golf Course.

The links have been closed for 5 months as the city searches for a new management company, but now Huntsville leaders are considering whether they want to reopen the course or use the space for something else.

The only thing you couldn't find at the Huntsville City Council meeting Thursday night, was an empty seat and a citizen without an opinion.

“Back in '89-90, the municipal course had 65,000 rounds of golf that year," says Kenneth Gibson, a supporter of the golf course.

“This would be a great opportunity to put their name on the map regionally as a biking mecca," says Bryce Johnston who would like to see a mountain bike park put out on Airport Road.

“What will it say about the 3rd largest city in Alabama, if we can’t find a way to make a municipal golf course lease work for the people of this city?” asked Larry Smith who is a longtime golf fan.

Since the Municipal Course closed New Year's Day, representatives of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association have been pushing a plan to transition the land from putts to pedals.

At the council meeting, they proved they weren't just a few lone voices. 

Everyone that’s with the NICA team, stand up please," Tommy Reagh, owner of Trailhead Inc., a local bike shop, told the crowd.

As dozens stood up, Council President Jennie Robinson muttered, "Oh wow," seeing the crowd.

"This is just a small sample of our team," Reagh replied.

Robinson stated from the outset, no action would be taken Thursday night and that the results of a city sponsored feasibility study would be presented next week at a council work session.

"Then we will open it up to public comment at that time as well," Robinson told the crowd.

Councilman Bill Kling believes there's a way, believe it or not, to make everyone happy.

“Let’s keep the golf course where it is. We’ve got acreage at John Hunt park so let’s look at creative ways we can do this new mountain bike facility concept," says Kling.

Until a final decision is made, voices of all ages will continue to speak out.

“I hope you can find a way to provide room for bikers, but not at the expense of a golf course," says Larry Smith.

"When I heard about the proposed bike park, I was excited because I would have more trails to explore and a place to practice," says Erin Hannah, a young girl who spoke to the crowd in favor of a bike trail.

The Huntsville City Council will present the results of a golf course feasibility study, Thursday, June 1st, starting at 5 p.m.

There will be a chance for citizens to voice their opinions after the presentation is made.