The Heritage Oaks Golf Course survey is now available online until March 19 at 5 p.m. for any member of the public to share their thoughts about the municipal facility.
The survey is part of the Heritage Oaks financial and operation analysis commissioned by City Council.
The 29-question survey includes inquiries about course operations, site improvements, course preferences, demographics and residency of the respondent.
Those who cannot participate in the survey online are advised to contact the Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation Department for accommodation, according to Michael Parks, city spokesperson. Local stakeholder meetings are also being planned, he said.
More information about the stakeholder meetings will be provided at a later date to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission, according to Parks.
“Community feedback is vital to all that we do,” Luanne Santangelo, parks and recreation director, said in a Monday press release. “We hope our residents will take advantage of this opportunity to inform us of how we can make Heritage Oaks Golf Course a better amenity for our community moving forward.”
In May, City Council asked staff to set up a study as petitions to close the golf course circulated, which were countered by a petition to keep the course open and a supporting protest that drew roughly 400 people.
By January, city staff had selected Golf Business Advisors of Williamsburg to conduct the study.
Completion of the study is slated for this spring. The cost of the study is not to exceed $22,500, Parks has said.
The city started to build the course in the late 1990s, expecting it to turn a profit by 2006. It has always operated at a loss.
Between fiscal year 2017 and fiscal year 2019, the economic loss of the golf course rose by nearly $159,000, to $518,828, not including the $440,000 annual debt service. The final payment of the debt service will be made on Aug. 2, 2029.
Regulars of the course and other supporters argue the facility is like other parks, and finances shouldn’t be the only consideration because the course is a valuable asset for the community that pays for itself in other ways.