Email this articleE-mail this story  Letter to the EDITORWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad

Roads End hopes the end is near

Inuvik golf course behind schedule

John Barker
Northern News Services

Inuvik (SEP 02/02) - In May, Roads End golf club vice-president Arnie Brown hoped players could tee off by the first of August.

That was then and this is now.

"Didn't happen," said club president Al German last week. "But I'm hoping we'll be at least hitting balls on the driving range later this month."

The completed course will be 1,800 yards, with nine holes, and grass fairways and greens, said German.

"Grass grows better here than any place else with the 24-hour sunshine," Brown said.

There are two main reasons why Inuvik golfers and tourists couldn't take to the links here this summer, German said: bad weather and heavy equipment needed farther down the Dempster Highway.

"We both needed some of the same heavy equipment, but come summer they (the heavy equipment operators) had to head down the Dempster to work on that," German said.

"They're rolling back into town and construction is really picking up pace again."

Roads End, appropriately enough, refers to the fact that the course lies right at the northern end of the Dempster Highway.

The weather was another factor. One of the wettest Augusts since weather records began to be kept for Inuvik in 1958 has left much of the town a mud hole that's only now starting to dry out, beginning with last weekend's warm, dry weather.

German said the golf club is still working to raise $90,000 in donations toward the construction costs for Roads End.

Arctic True Value made the first $10,000 donation this past spring and the local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion has since matched that with its own $10,000 donation, German said.

Organizers are still looking for $70,000 more in the form of seven $10,000 donations. Local businesses have also come forward with donations of labour, electrical and heavy equipment, and even portable toilets, to spur development of the reclaimed land that was once part of the landfill.

There are 42 people signed up as volunteers on the project.

The town of Inuvik was asked to kick in the $50,000 it received as part of a land reclamation project. In the end, they came up with $30,000 for the golf course, German said