Grant money gets Knox Co Parks dept closer to golf course acquisition

KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – The Knox County Parks Department told News 10 Tuesday, administrators got word they would receive a $267,000 Bicentennial grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Plans for the money were directed toward the purchase of the old Vincennes Golf Club, known locally as the Fox Ridge Golf Course.

In order for the Parks Department to move forward in the course acquisition, it will require the approval of the Knox County Council. The Council would be required to match funds with the parks department for the purchase. Parks officials plan to present the award of the grant money at the Council’s August Meeting. Parks Superintendent Rama Sobhani told News 10, the council seemed interested in prior conversations.

“We’ve advertised with the intent of having them vote on it at their next meeting, it’s up to them whether they want to do it then, or need some additional information, and will put it off until we give it to them,” Sobhani added.

“There is probably a little bit of lingering skepticism and we hope to put that to rest and if we can’t I still think that the majority of the council is going to go for it,” said Sobhani. Sobhani stated the Parks Department only had interest in 96 acres of green space at the course; the adjacent clubhouse and maintenance building would not be part of the acquisition.

News 10 learned the adjacent clubhouse had been transformed into a 21-and-older restaurant and bar scheduled to open in August. Business owner Brett Melton told News 10 he planned to have live music on the weekends, in an adult only atmosphere. Coincidentally, Melton is also the owner of the acreage the Knox County Parks Department is seeking to purchase.

Sobhani stated the Parks Department would not begin to negotiate the purchase with Melton until the council approved the acquisition.

“We’ve heard a lot of good feedback from the community, people want this to happen, I know when I talk to people out in the public they ask if we’ve gotten this park, and I say well no, no it’s a not a done deal yet and they say well I think it will happen and I think it will be a good thing,” said Sobhani.

 

 

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