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City of Winnipeg looking at selling John Blumberg Golf Course

A report to city council's property and development committee recommends the city sell the John Blumberg Golf Course or enter into a joint venture with the property.
A report to city council's property and development committee recommends the city sell the John Blumberg Golf Course or enter into a joint venture with the property. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

In the market for a slightly used golf course? The City of Winnipeg may have a deal for you.

City staff are recommending the city either sell the John Blumberg Golf Course or enter into a new joint venture with the expansive city-owned property located just west of Winnipeg in the rural municipality of Headingley.

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City council first declared the 150-acre golf course surplus property in 2013, but efforts to sell it off at the time were thwarted by a lease agreement dispute with the course’s previous operator.

With a new operator in place and the lease dispute settled, finance committee chair Coun. Scott Gillingham says city staff now recommend a request for proposals be sent out looking for a possible buyer or partner.

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And the expansive property doesn’t necessarily need to remain a golf course, Gillingham says.

“It’s a beautiful location there, and there’s been talk for years about it being developed for residential or commercial purposes,” he told 680 CJOB this week.

“There’s options available for some of it to be a golf course, none of it to be a golf course, maybe some commercial property, maybe some residential property.”

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A report to council’s property and development committee says if approved, 90 per cent of the net sale would go to a “transformative fund”, a pot of money not yet established by council the report says will be used to reduce the city’s infrastructure deficit “with a focus on recreation.”

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The remaining 10 per cent would go to the city’s golf department to offset wind-up costs from the sale, according to the report, with any remaining money used for “future capital improvements” at city golf courses.

Because the property is in the RM of Headingley, the report says selling the golf course would not have any property tax implications for the city.

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Gillingham said he’s spoken to officials from the RM of Headingley about the property, but hasn’t had “detailed discussions” about any plans the municipality might have for the course going forward.

“Obviously the RM is very, very interested in discussions and knowing what the options may be there,” he said.

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“Right now, as a city-owned golf course, the recommendation is that we are going to put it out to an RFP for either purchase or joint-venture and we’ll see what the results are.”

The report comes before councillors on the property and development committee Friday.

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