Blocking trails and hiring local club members to patrol the golf course are among the solutions being suggested for an ongoing problem in Tumbler Ridge â€“ snowmobile damage to golf course greens.
â€œTax dollars are being spent to repair the golf course every spring, unnecessarily,â€ said Mayor Darwin Wren. The golf course damage is worse than usual this year, thanks in part to a very low snowpack, and will mean significant staff time and costs to the district, director of community services Chuck Jensen explained to council.
The problem was particularly bad over the Christmas break, he added.
To date, town staff have placed articles in the newspaper to encourage appropriate use, have put up signage on the course, placed snow fencing, and held discussions with RCMP and bylaw officers, Jensen said.
â€œIs it feasible to hire a club or organization in town that could be paid to cover the golf course, to keep an eye out?,â€ said Coun. Mike Caisley, adding that providing that as paid work for groups could cut down on grant in aid requests.
Discussion turned to the possibility of offering that work to the TR Ridge Riders snowmobile club, prompting Coun. Tim Snyder to question whether members of that club might also be responsible for the damage.
â€œI’d hate to think that it is club members, that are reasonable and responsible,â€ said Beale, noting the Ridge Riders promote safe and responsible riding, and adding his voice in support to Caisley’s idea of paying clubs to watch the course.
Wren also agreed, noting it’s an opportunity to get a return on investment for some of the grant in aids given out by the district.
Jensen noted the district has also talked about putting more recreational attractions at the golf course over the winter, â€œto bring a few more people out â€“ and having people out there would be a discouragement to illicit uses.â€
Putting a skating rink on the driving range, or a toboggan hill in the area are possibilities, he said.