HUNTINGTON WOODS — More than a year has gone by since Detroit opened bids for its Rackham golf course — a city-owned course outside the city limits — and the sale has yet to be completed.
The city of Huntington Woods made an offer on the property, which was accepted after its main competitor dropped its bid. Huntington Woods also won a designation of the land as an historic area, which will prevent it from being developed.
Disagreements over ownership, rights to a cell phone tower located on the property and items included in the sale have stalled the agreement.
A conservancy has also been meeting with Detroit officials to discuss an alternate sale or lease of the property, according to The Detroit News.
It may be difficult to imagine golf as a necessary government-provided service, but it still happens with great regularity. In July 2006, the Mackinac Center reported that there were around 90 golf courses statewide owned by some unit of government. In his 2006 article, "Government Golf," Senior Managing Editor Michael D. LaFaive argued that municipal golf courses aren’t just poor uses of taxpayer dollars, they’re unfair to private providers whose taxes are used to finance a government-run competitor. His article can be read at www.mackinac.org/7824.
Reference: The Detroit News, "Lawsuit stalls Rackham land deal," Sept. 19, 2007