Friday, May 13, 2011

City workers mowing and mowing and mowing

The second mowing of “some” of Countryside golf course took place today. I caught up with the city employees as they were finishing up this afternoon.

There are really only three full time employees to keep the whole city system of parks mowed and trimmed.

They said they have some temporary contractors for the rainy season pointing from the 12th fairway to the 10th fairway. They still have a time keeping up. The mowers are not bush hogs they say but lately with the high grass they are trying to be just that and it damages the equipment.

The equipment is worn and there is no money to maintain let alone replace these monsters.

When it gets as high as it has been on Countryside they have to run over it twice. It just lies down to pop up later when the grass is this tall and wet. That is what happened the first time that they mowed here. You have probably experienced that yourselves when mowing especially when it is wet.

I mowed my yard just as they finished and I can tell you it is still very wet. The one picture (above) almost buries one machine as they said they are trying to mow more than the 50-foot legal requirement for us. It is so nice of the city after closing the operator maintained golf course to leave us this beautiful hay field. Officials kept telling us how great it was going to look … time will tell and no one out here believes a word they say anymore so “show me.”

It is hard not to remember just two seasons ago the lush green well manicured fairway that once backed up to our homes. There is $1.5 million in the city’s 2012 CIP to make it a “natural area” with trails along with part of the greenway coming this way.

The natural area is suppose to be maintenance free I told the mowers – they snickered – maybe/maybe not.

One thing for sure the additional mowing (that the golf course operators once performed) is costing the city a pretty penny. For them to be here all day, their pay, gas and mower maintenance it is in the thousands. Add that to the $400,000 yearly payment on the loan that seems to have slipped into silence by those who claimed last year that the city “just couldn’t afford it.” Now they are spending more than the $1.2 million needed for a new irrigation system and cart paths to keep the golf course going for awhile.

Go figure their rational. Go figure paying $2 million in interest only on the $4 million loan. Go figure how long it would take for any tax base (if and when it starts) it will take to break even at $6 million.

But I digress in city transparency or lack thereof.

The workers also said the field is ready for hay bailing and have seen farmers that have started already. Time to call Mr. Caldwell our savior from last year – of course the weather needs to dry a bit.

Farmer bails hay from Countryside golf course

Countryside property plans again on the drawing board

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Community, Politics, Roanoke City Politics

Tags: , ,

Comments (2)


May 13th, 2011 at 8:14 PM    

Valerie, I enjoyed this piece more than any other I’ve ever read from you. Your wit is acerbic, a delight in my book.

So what exactly would have been different if the City had simply invested in the golf course? I think that it’s time for an exposition.


May 13th, 2011 at 8:46 PM    

Thanks Newt, not everyone understands this or the whole city would be outraged. We hear from no city officials these days – those who voted to close the golf course behind closed doors.

The neighbors that said “the city is going to do whatever they want to do” are laughing their ass off at us now.

They will regret letting Kissito go. An urban village? What are they smokin’?

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