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Still no resolution to fate of former golf course on McArthur Island

Kamloops Naturalist Club now says it can live with sharing passive nature space with cordoned-off disc golf course
mcarthur island
After 25 years in operation, the McArthur Island Golf Course officially closed in the fall of 2017. Flooding issues precluded the course from opening at all last year. The fate of the six-hectare piece of land remains in the city’s hands.

At year’s end, the fate of the former golf course land on McArthur Island remains unclear.

On Tuesday, during its final meeting of 2018, city council received a recommendation from the parks and recreation committee that staff continue to work with Kamloops Disc Golf Club and the Kamloops Naturalist Club on a plan for the space.

Members of both groups filled council chambers, with the naturalists stating they would now consider a cordoned-off disc golf course on the property. Until now, the naturalists have been opposed to including a disc golf course with their desire for a passive nature area.

Both groups have lobbied elected officials for months and Coun. Arjun Singh called it the “sleeper issue in the 2018 civic election.”

Meanwhile, council voted 7-2 to add wording to the parks and recreation committee’s recommendation, wherein staff were directed to bring “plans” (plural) forward and provide a possible alternative location for a disc golf course.

Councillors Sadie Hunter, Dale Bass, Mike O’Reilly, Arjun Singh, Denis Walsh and Bill Sarai voted in favour, while Mayor Ken Christian and Coun. Dieter Dudy were opposed.

Dudy noted it was an exercise in redundancy because staff had already planned on bringing forward recommended plans from the city and the clubs.

Council will decide the fate of the space after Bill Bilton gave up his lease of the golf course in 2017 land due to flood damage. Bilton had for 25 years operated his nine-hole course on the six-hectare (14-acre) parcel of land on the west end of the island.

The issue will return to council on Jan. 29, in advance of supplemental budget items in February.