Buckhorn questions plan for golf facility
By JANEL STEPHENS
TAMPA -- City Council member Bob Buckhorn wants city administrators to rethink plans to convert a Port Tampa landfill into a golf facility.
"Before we make an assumption that this golf course is a done deal, we need to take a closer look at what the best use of the property may be," Buckhorn said during a council meeting Thursday.
Serious consideration of converting the 40-acre landfill site into a golf course or driving range began last month after Mayor Dick Greco mentioned the idea at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Port Tampa Community Center.
The site is south of Interbay Boulevard and west of MacDill Air Force Base.
The city would lease the land at low cost if it was open to the public, open to city-run children's programs and compatible with the neighborhood, said Bob Harrell, the city's deputy administrator of development.
It's unclear whether the facility would be used as a golf course, a driving range or both.
Buckhorn, a candidate for mayor, questioned whether a golf facility would be compatible with the "rapidly changing demographics" in the Port Tampa area. He said he doesn't have anything in mind for the site, but says he wants administrators to "explore other options."
He suggested the city's parks and recreation department examine the site.
"You have a huge demand for parks and recreation facilities in the city," said Buckhorn, who said a soccer or baseball field were possible uses.
Council Chairman Charlie Miranda said changing the landfill to a golfing facility would bring children from different parts of the neighborhood together. A driving range, he said, could be a lucrative business opportunity.
"This is going to be a prime money-maker for somebody," Miranda said.
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