Residents fight for Grand Island - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Residents fight for Grand Island

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March 11, 2008

Lee County --  In 2002 Grand Island Golf Course was donated to Lee County to benefit the people of the county.  Now some of those people are fighting to keep the course. 

Residents who live near the course were outraged when Lee County Commissioners authorized a study to see what the property might be worth as retail development or condos.  Now a group is circulating a petition to show commissioners how many people want to preserve Grand Island's fairways.

Clete Sinyard writes, "To close Grand Island would be a mistake and would impact for years."

Tiffany Stroup writes, "This is a good golf course for your blue collar workers. I love playing there." 

It's the reaction coming from an online petition and a community that's speaking out in support of Grand Island.

"We felt like it was important to get people's opinions rather than just having a few people decide what should be done with Grand Island," said Petition Founder Sandi Plourde.

So Plourde and her husband John started the petition drive online and in local businesses to show what Grand Island means to the community.

 "I think if you take away this golf course you're going to lose a big asset to the community, you're going to be bringing in a lot of things you really don't want," she said.

Two weeks ago, Lee County Commissioners authorized a study that will determine what the land's worth if it were turned into commercial development.  The results are expected in months.  Many admit the course has cost the county in the past, but say that's turned around.

"I think since Vic has taken it over it has come out of the hole a lot, and it's going to take awhile for it to come out of the hole as far back as it was indebt but, I think overall it's a great place to be," said petition signer Dustin Hickox.

With more than 500 signatures in the last week, residents are promising commissioners who thought this might be an easy decision, a fight.
"Tonight we're going to be there and support Grand Island and hopefully we'll show up in force and get it changed," said Hickox.

The petition is available at Tony's Gym, Colony Bank, The Grand Island Pro Shop, and click HERE to see it online.