Small group meetings to replace 2 postponed virtual public meetings about Hancock Golf Course

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — With the future of Hancock Golf Course in its current form in question, the City of Austin will hold two more meetings to hear from the community about one of Texas’ oldest courses.

The meetings were originally scheduled for Monday and Thursday, but on Monday afternoon the city postponed them “in order to fully adhere to the City of Austin Public Participation Principles.” The city says nearly 185 people had signed up and it was concerned such a large size would “limit dialogue opportunities” because the meetings are online. Instead, PARD is planning to host future small group meetings and will reach out to neighborhood and community groups to schedule them. Groups can also email pard.golf@austintexas.gov if they’d like to be included.

People can still see the results of a survey from earlier this year as well as the presentation slides from the postponed meetings and information about another survey on the city’s website.

Austin Parks and Recreation has plans to issue a request for proposals for a concessionary agreement, which means private operators can make a bid to “develop and manage a facility where golfers can learn and improve their skills,” as well as preserve access to the community’s walking trail and recreation center.

Other golf facilities operated by concessionaires are Butler Pitch and Putt in downtown Austin and Grey Rock Golf Course in southwest Austin, the city said.

Hancock Golf Course was opened in 1899, making it one of the oldest courses in the state, and it became a municipal course in 1951. In 2012, PARD started making changes to the course with minimizing its financial impact in mind. The city began using reclaimed water, installing pay stations to cut staff time and it tried to get other groups to utilize the space.

Despite the changes made in 2012, and other since then, the nine-hole course hasn’t done well financially. The city said it typically needs around $100,000 from the general fund every year to keep it going.

It’s part of GolfATX, which includes six courses around the city, and is operated through an enterprise fund. Fees for those courses went up in October to help bolster the enterprise fund and allow for more money to help with maintenance costs.

People interested in submitting feedback and questions to the virtual meeting can fill out a form on the city’s website.

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