Neighbors, employees concerned about future of Buffalo Valley golf course

UNICOI, TN (WJHL)- After months of discussion about the future of a city-owned golf course, Johnson City commissioners could soon make a decision about what’s next.

Buffalo Valley golf course is one of two city-owned courses that Johnson City commissioners have said they’ve spent millions of dollars on in recent years, but still aren’t turning a profit.

City leaders told us back in August that since 2012, the city had spent $6 million on golf, and that was to cover debt and keep the facilities open to the public.

This week we heard from people that live along Buffalo Valley’s course, like Brandy Bevins, who said she was worried about the course closing.

“We are hearing all kinds of stuff, we are hearing that it’s going to be closed down, we heard that it could be a park,” Bevins said.

We found Bevins wasn’t the only one with concerns.

When we pulled up to the course Wednesday morning, we found Justin Richardson, a maintenance employee who had also heard the course would soon shut down.

“…we’re supposed to be shutting December 31st, trying to find a buyer, best of my knowledge,” Richardson said.

When we spoke to Johnson City’s Vice Mayor, Jenny Brock, over the phone Wednesday she said the commission is expected to hear a comprehensive report on Monday.

It’s a report that Brock said includes a study on the current golf market, hoping that study will be able to help them answer the question, “Does the city need two golf courses?”

Homeowners like Bevins told us Wednesday they are hopeful the course will remain open.

“This is our dream home, and the whole reason we moved here is because it was on a golf course, I don’t want to look out there and just seen a grown up mess,” Bevins said.

Vice Mayor Brock also told us that it’s likely after commissioners hear the report Monday, they will then make a decision on whether the topic will be on the agenda for the full commission meeting December 7th.

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