L.A. County may take over Norwalk Golf Center

NORWALK − Norwalk officials moved one step closer last week to striking a deal with the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Department that could lead to a $3.5 million renovation of the Norwalk Golf Center, located at 13717 Shoemaker Ave. Although the leasing agreement is still being negotiated, City Manager Mike Egan said, if approved, the county will assume full operations of the nine-hole, par 3 golf course on Jan. 1, 2015.

“It will be significantly enhanced, and overall a great benefit for everyone that currently utilizes the golf course,” said Egan, who acknowledged the golf course currently makes no profit for the city. “I believe if a public agency is going to subsidize anything, there needs to be a public benefit.”

City officials agree that an updated golf course operated by the county will be beneficial for all parties involved.

The multi-million-dollar renovation project is slated to incorporate a refurbished clubhouse, a 60-seat meeting space for seminars and after school programs, the expansion of the course’s driving range to accommodate 30 stations, and new lighting and irrigation upgrades.

In a 5-0 vote, the Norwalk City Council agreed to apply for the $3.5 million grant, which will be drawn from the Fourth Supervisorial District Cities Excess Funds, allocated in 1996 by Proposition A, the LA County proposition passed by voters to make neighborhood parks safe.

Egan says the council’s vote now frees the county to use the funds for the renovation project.

“The golf course was part of the old Southeast Recreation District before it was turned over to Norwalk...but the facility has to be used for public recreation,” said Egan, who ensured that current golf clubs and resident players may continue using the site.

If the county takes operational control of the golf course, Supervisor Don Knabe is likely to use the site to establish a Youth Golf Academy.

A leasing agreement between the city of Norwalk and the county is expected this summer, Egan said.