Bethlehem Town Hall. Spotlight file photo
GLENMONT — The Colonial Acres golf course will close after over 10 years of being run by the Town of Bethlehem.
While it will cease operations as a golf course, it would remain as a park and open space for residents to still enjoy.
Located on 15 Saybrook Dr. in Glenmont, it contains several walking trails and is next to a residential development.
Town Supervisor David VanLuven said the town has been meeting with local residents there about what type of future they may envision for the closed golf course.
A February community forum yielded ideas about having the park contain scenic and running trails, and family-friendly playground sets.
Saying that the golf course can no longer be managed, he said that golf course management is more than just lawn mowing and instead, “it requires a specific expertise and you actually have to have professional experience in turf management in order to manage golf course grass and we don’t have that. It just has not been working out so far and the course is in bad shape right now.”
VanLuven added that managing this nine-hole golf course was no longer a viable financial route for the town since it had been partially affected by the recent opening of a newer 18-hole course, Hidden Meadows, which is located just 10 minutes away. The 2008 global financial crisis also affected the golf course, causing it to falter in recent years.
According to a memo provided by VanLuven, the Colonial Acres Golf Club had been in service since the 1960s and the property was saved from the risk of being developed in 2007, thanks to the Open Space Institute purchasing it.
In addition to its financial woes, it has suffered recently from its outdated equipment and a deteriorating irrigation system.
Since the golf course has not seen as many visitors too, “it thereby [makes] it difficult to justify spending an estimated $100,000 per year to operate the property as a golf course.” For these reasons, the town chose to not renew Colonial Acres operator Dale Ezyk’s contract, who had last signed a three-year contract with the town in 2016.
The memo also included suggestions on how to best handle the park moving forward, like having volunteers oversee butterfly gardens within it, constructing a humble picnic pavilion by the pond, and adding more bicycle and pedestrian entrances to the area.