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Benny Polacca, Published December 16 2008

WF City Commission approves golf course deal

West Fargo city commissioners approved an agreement between the city and a Fargo-based housing developer Monday to build an 18-hole municipal golf course with a 3-1 vote.

WestPort Beach Development Corp. officials offered to donate land it owns in south West Fargo to the city for the course construction last year.

WestPort Beach owns about 520 acres north of 52nd Avenue West, south of the WestPort Beach Subdivision and 40th Avenue West.

The agreement calls for the city and WestPort Beach to agree on several phases of the course construction including hiring an architect and the concept plans, said City Attorney Brian Neugebauer. The agreement lists course construction beginning on or before May 15, 2009.

It’s unknown how many acres of the land the course would cover. Neugebauer said, “We have to agree to that (amount) … but that land will be donated.”

Earlier reports said 160 acres could be donated.

WestPort Beach is also planning to build housing around the golf course, which could bring property tax revenue to the city, some city officials said.

Commissioner Mike Thorstad voted against the agreement saying he was concerned about costs the city may incur as a result of the construction.

Thorstad referred to the city’s laundry list of projects, including construction of a water treatment plant, Main Avenue’s reconstruction and upgrading outdated utility infrastructure.

City Administrator Jim Brownlee said the city will incur some costs for the course through storm water assessments, but assessments on the future home lots and developer-owned land would cover most of the costs.

Mayor Rich Mattern said the decision is a big one, adding that he questioned the amount of property tax revenue the city could incur from prospective property owners who move into the housing built by WestPort Beach.

Commissioner Bryan Schulz was absent during Monday’s vote.