|Still no word on Harbor Shores lawsuit|
By KEVIN ALLEN H-P Staff Writer
BENTON HARBOR — The full 18-hole golf course at Harbor Shores is developing on schedule to open next summer, project officials reported Thursday. All the holes, including the three controversial holes in Benton Harbor’s Jean Klock Park, have been seeded and should be ready by June, project manager Bob McFeeter said.
But still unknown is when U.S. District Court Judge Robert Holmes Bell will issue his decision in a lawsuit concerning whether federal agencies should have allowed the three holes to be built in the park on Lake Michigan.
Seven Benton Harbor-area residents filed the suit against the city, National Park Service and Army Corps of Engineers in August 2008. Bell heard arguments from both sides in the case three weeks ago in Grand Rapids.
“At this point, we’re trying not to focus on (the lawsuit) too much,” said Wendy Dant Chesser, a Harbor Shores trustee and president of Cornerstone Alliance. “We have a project to finish.”
Meanwhile, golfers are continuing to play nine holes of the Jack Nicklaus-designed course that opened in a shortened format July 15.
There were 76 golfers with tee times Thursday, which was one of this year’s 10 Community Days when Berrien County residents can play the nine-hole course for $40 a round instead of the usual rate of $75.
Mark Hesemann, managing director for Harbor Shores, said about 2,500 rounds of golf will have been played on the course by the time it closes for the season in mid-October.
Some non-golfers have been using the course’s cart paths for walking and biking this summer, but developers are discouraging that because of safety concerns, Chesser said.
She said the public is welcome to use the cart paths after the course closes for the season next month and continue to use it until the course reopens next summer.
McFeeter said the 12.8-mile public walking and biking path Harbor Shores promised to build is on schedule to be completed by next summer.
Some portions of the trail will open by the beginning of next month, he said.