Plans to create a fresh new look for the Liberty Municipal Golf Course, formerly known as Magnolia Ridge, took a step forward on Tuesday, Dec. 8, when the Liberty City Council authorized the golf course design firm of Jeffrey Blume, Ltd., to prepare construction documents that will be used to bid out the project to contractors early next year.
The City of Liberty will pay an amount not to exceed $90,000 for Blume to design plans for grading, drainage, irrigation, clearing and strategy plans, and prepare specifications and bid documents. At the Nov. 10 meeting, Council approved a $30,000 contract with Blume to plan the concept for the course in Phase I. Phase III will be construction observation and the course opening should the City continue moving forward with the project once Phase II is complete.
“At the end of this phase (II), construction plans will be done. Then we will take it to bid, let the contractors bid and then come back with a number of how much it will take to build,” Blume told the council. “Then, at that standpoint, we will come back and you can say, ‘Yea, we want to do it’ or ‘We want to cut that.'”
Blume said it will take him approximately 90 days to finish Phase II, just in time to bid the project and be ready for construction to begin in March. The renovations will take approximately six months, during which time the golf course will be closed to the public.
On Nov. 19, members of the men’s and ladies’ golf associations met with Blume to explain the biggest challenges they see for the golf course, including issues with irrigation and drainage.
At the Dec. 8 council meeting, members of the association told Council said they are in favor of closing the course for six months instead of the City trying to piecemeal the work, which would prolong construction and ultimately cost more money.
“You don’t want an excavator to come in one month and then have to come back another month,” said Fred Hubbard, who plays golf at the course a couple of times per week. Hubbard told Council he has noticed an upswing in the number of golfers recently.
The golfers insist that no major changes should be made to the course route, though some minor changes will be made to holes 1, 2 and 3.
“They also were adamant about the irrigation system. It’s 50-60 years old and needs to be replaced,” Blume said. “Renovating the greens was another suggestion. I think it’s something that needs to be done.”
Blume plans to return to Council in the early part of 2021, most likely in February, to discuss the cost of renovations.