User groups quick to suggest uses for old McArthur Island golf course

By Chad Klassen
October 18, 2017 - 5:25pm

KAMLOOPS — A day after the city regained possession of the McArthur Island golf course, multiple user groups have already come forward with suggestions on what the parks department should do with the six-hectare property.

The city's facilities manager Jeff Putnam says four user groups have already contacted him after it was revealed that Bill Bilton, Sr. had declined to renew his lease with the city. Putnam said there are various ideas on what to do with the property.

"A cross-country running trail, even mention from people that would like to watch their dog on that part of the park, which is a bit of a challenge because right now it's a dog-free zone because of all the sports fields," said Putnam. "So I don't want to get people's hopes up, but that was mentioned. As well, disc golf. So there's a whole bunch and we expect to hear a lot more in the future."

Bilton, Sr. cited a 35 per cent drop in golf business as part of his decision to cease operation. However, before any decision is made, the city is requesting community ideas and suggestions before making a final decision on the property in the spring.

"There are passive parks that people really appreciate, a quiet place to go and relax, sit on a bench and read a book. Then there's recreation, active park space," said Putnam. "It's trying to create that balance. I think McArthur Island has a big chunk of sports, active space, so it would be nice, in my opinion, to balance it out with a little more passive use. But again, we'll see what the public would like and what city council would like."

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