Washington Co. administrator sends letter to golf courses permitting openings

WASHINGTON COUNTY (CBS 58) -- The Washington County Administrator sent a letter to all county golf courses on Friday, April 17 permitting them to open as soon as April 18.

A press release states Administrator Josh Schoemann made the decision after talking with Washington County Sheriff Marty Schulteis and Washington-Ozaukee Public Health Officer Kirsten Johnson.

The letter said courses may begin booking tee times. Governor Tony Evers released an amended 'Safer at Home' order on Thursday, April 17 extending it until May 26. While the Safer at Home order is extended, it also includes steps for some non-essential businesses and places to begin opening and operating at lowered or minimum operations, including public libraries and golf courses.

The 'Safer at Home' order states the following about golf courses:

"Golf courses may open again, with restrictions including scheduling and paying for tee times online or by phone only. Clubhouses and pro shops must remain closed".

The Wisconsin State Golf Association tells CBS 58 it is encouraging courses not to open until April 24.

Schoemann released the following statement:

"Our recreation activities have been limited for too long. It is time to smartly begin to open our economy. Allowing recreation activities which allow for social distancing is the first of many steps. As county staff worked to keep our parks open and clean, Governor Evers closed thousands of acres of the Kettle Moraine Forest in Washington County without asking for our support. I commend our staff for keeping our disc golf, dog park, and miles of trails open. Now is the time to ensure golf courses begin to operate safely.

For non-golfers, tomorrow is the ceremonially opening of our recreational trails. Volunteers across the county will be getting our trails, such as the Eisenbahn, in shape for the summer. I call on the governor and our legislature to release a comprehensive plan to re-open our state. In the coming days, Washington County intends to release a “Blueprint to Reopen” based on the American Enterprise Institute’s Roadmap and guidance released by the White House.

The citizens of our state and county have waited too long for Madison bureaucrats to tell us when our society can return to normal. Our citizens are smart. I encourage everyone to continue to practice social distancing, limit large gatherings, and stay home when sick. Together, we will beat COVID-19. Our economy should not go down with it."

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