Cleveland’s Golf Course Advisory Committee is still pushing to get the revamped Waterville Golf Course open for summer play.
Tennessee’s highway widening project of Dalton Pike, which dissects the golf course, forced the city to redesign the back nine holes. Those nine holes have been closed for about three years, with play only on the front side.
The newly added nine holes have been constructed, but some touch-ups, sodding, a new entrance sign and a bridge (or drainage pipes) along the new par-3 10th hole still must be completed.
“So we’re looking at an opening date for the new nine in May, at least by the end of May,” said City Manager Janice Casteel at Monday’s meeting. It is hoped all 18 holes will be ready to play by Memorial Day (May 28).
The only old business discussed was the construction of a new, unisex bathroom on the new nine holes. Ross Construction is building the facility on the same site as the old restroom, which was demolished by severe weather.
New business items were discussed, including cart path work, removal of debris along Bell Road, tentative design for an entrance sign, a low area to the right of No. 10, and a golf course membership list.
Public Works Director Tommy Myers said continued severe weather, such as the storms which went through the county Friday afternoon, is putting his crews behind. “The weather has put us about a month behind on the cart paths,” he said.
The maintenance crew said the debris on Bell Road has been removed.
Melinda Carroll, assistant city manager, put together a collection of entrance sign designs from other golf courses and attractions for the committee to review. The panel agreed it would like to have a nice sign, but the remaining budget of $1,400 will allow only small, nonextravagant construction. A larger sign may be constructed later.
The sign, if placed along the driveway at the turn-off from Dalton Pike, will have to be raised if it’s to be seen from both traffic lanes. The committee is expected to place some directional signs to the north and south of the golf course along Dalton Pike.
Jonathan Jobe, a city staff member, said it is believed it will be OK to put underground piping at the low area alongside the 10th fairway instead of building a bridge over the area.
Golf Course manager Jimmy Tatum said the golf course currently has upward of 120 memberships.
Casteel said the state has assured the city it will have the north tunnel completed prior to opening the course. This tunnel underneath Dalton Pike is located just to the east of the 18th green, the area where the old 17th green was located.
There is a southern tunnel underneath Dalton Pike to the west side of the 10th green.
Perhaps the biggest discussion Monday was about plans for sodding around the greens on the new nine holes. Jeff Widener, who is handling the sodding, said he would only need a three- to four-day notice to start laying sod.
The Cleveland City Council recently approved a request for $83,800 to pay for 64,000 square feet of sod.
Widener plans to sod three greens at a time, which he anticipates will take about two days. With this schedule, it will take about a week to sod all nine greens.
Members of the advisory committee wanted to wait until the bermuda sod was green, but Widener said the dormant sod probably won’t turn green until May or June. He assured committee members it does not damage the sod to be transplanted when it is dormant.
Jobe told the committee he is looking at purchasing a trencher for work on the golf course this fall. He has quotes on leasing a trencher, but the price was $11,500. Jobe said the city could buy a trencher, do the work needed, then resell the trencher to recoup at least some of the funds.
The advisory committee will next meet at 10 a.m. Monday, April 2.