A year of decision nears for White Deer Golf Complex

The assessment of the White Deer Golf Complex at a recent Lycoming County Commissioners meeting was positive.

The occasion was consideration of a $19,690 bill for removing old sprinkler heads and installing new ones at the complex. The funds to pay that bill come from a 2012 bond issued specifically for recreation.

The bond funds are almost depleted, but the work remaining to be funded by the bond funds also is nearing completion, according to county officials.

And Commissioner Tony Mussare said the golf complex is receiving high marks for improvements that have been made in recent years.

White Deer is under management of Billy Casper Golf, with one year remaining on that contract.

It remains to be seen if the firm’s management and improvements at the complex wil eventually be enough to create a profit for golf operations.

Commissioner Tony Mussare said the goal is to break even and to never have the golf complex “coming back to the county for any money.”

He acknowledged the commissioners have a time limit on the county’s ability to help the complex and are working on a contingency plan that could mean selling parts or all of the complex or turning it into a different recreational facility.

In our view, 2018 is a year of decision regarding the golf complex.

The commissioners need to do a frank assessment of the performance of Billy Casper Golf. In the final year of that company’s management, they need to take a hard look at the ledger sheet for White Deer, and then decide the best course going forward.

We hope the performance of the complex results in the continuation of a first-class golf operation.

But that result has to be based on performance, not sentimentality.