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Golfers search for solutions to save Wanaki Golf Course

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MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A group of Waukesha County golfers are fighting to save their public course.

The county announced it would be moving to close Wanaki Golf Course after the season.

In a letter on the county website, the director of the Parks and Land Use Department, Dale R. Shaver, said that Wanaki has operated at a loss for the last ten years.

The deficits have run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the reserve funds have run out.

Dozens of people came to a brainstorming strategy session Monday night to discuss ways to approach the problem.

Some suggestions included raising the price to play, selling corporate sponsorships or privatizing the course and selling it to a buyer.

Taxpayers don’t fund the county’s courses.

Revenue comes from fees, rentals and concessions.

Many of the golfers spoke of the sense of community and family fostered at the course.

“There were guys actually nearly in tears on Wednesday night [when the closure was announced] and we couldn’t let it go,” said David Strackbein, a member in the course’s men’s club. “There was no way we’re going to let this go. We don’t feel the county is making an effort to make a profit. There are several things they could be doing to increase revenue.”

Shaver wrote in the letter, “I assure you that we have not made this decision lightly, but it is the right decision for the taxpayers of Waukesha County.”

Two county supervisors attended the meeting, expressing their support for searching for solutions.

The closure will be included in the 2020 budget.

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