So now the question is simply “when?” If the town defunds Colonial Acres next year and no one steps in by April, it might not open. This course, often recognized for its quality and upkeep, could fall into disrepair.
On the other hand, exactly how long will Bethlehem resign itself to losing money at this course? Everyone is in agreement that it cannot compete with nearby Hidden Meadows without serious changes — and really, it is not the town’s place to try to compete with the private enterprise.
We have to agree with Supervisor John Clarkson that defunding the course now would force change. The fear seems to be that the town would give up any control in guiding the process, but this attitude misses an important point: the town does not own Colonial Acres, the Open Space Institute does. It is that group’s decision on what happens to the land.
To town leaders, we say this: if you’re going to close Colonial Acres, close it. If you’re going to keep it open, keep it open. But don’t keep the money flowing under the pretense your presence is needed: no offense, but it is not.
And to the public, your last chance to make your opinion known on this matter is tonight: Wednesday, Nov. 14. The Town Board meets at 6 p.m. at Town Hall and is scheduled to decide on a 2013 budget. There is a public comment opportunity at the start of every meeting.