Vicksburg Village Council OKs Funds To Buy Property

tom ham 2
Tom Ham, owner of Renaissance Management Company that oversees Angels Crossing Golf Course, speaking to the Vicksburg Village Council.

By Sue Moore

Following a closed-door meeting, the Vicksburg Village Council approved a $13,300 expenditure to purchase an unidentified property and do soil borings on it. In the past, Village officials have discussed building a new village hall but have not definitely identified a site.

“It’s just one possibility as a place to build a new and enhanced village hall,” Jim Mallery, village manager, explained to the Council. The timing is such that we wanted to know if the land would support a building there. That’s why we need to get the testing done.”

The village has put away $800,000 over the last two years for a new building estimated to cost over $1.2 million and be similar in size to Schoolcraft’s village office.

In other business, the village Council heard an annual report from the Renaissance Management Company’s director, Tom Ham, about the village-owned Angels Crossing golf course. Ham said the golf course was profitable in 2019 but could be even more so in the coming year with some of the improvements he has proposed. He had received approval in February to rent a machine that would grind up much of the brush and small trees on the edges of the fairways. That work has been completed, he said.

“We are trying to expose this beautiful piece of property to the golfing public. There were lots of features on the course that no one could see as Mother Nature took over, growing plenty of scrub and brush. With the village’s DPW help and the forestry equipment we were able to grind up the small trees and brush to expose all these natural wetlands. It is now totally different. It’s not an overgrown piece of property. Golfers will see different vistas when teeing off,” he explained.

It will also improve the sunlight and air movement to critical points on the course for the greens and tees. That will improve the turf. It’s a two-pronged approach with another agronomic advantage, he pointed out.

He mentioned in a later interview, that EPA-approved products, safe for the environment, will help to keep the brush down in the future. “What golfers see and how they play the course will increase the esthetics and pay off in the long run. That word of mouth is better than any magazine could do for us. It’s a manual clean up now. It will take time to get it all cleared as its not meant to be a playable area but will be helpful for golfers to find [their errant] golf balls,” Ham said.

“We are watching the Governor’s executive order on food and beverage and special events that will keep us from reopening the restaurant facility. It was clarified recently that people could still play golf in consideration of the virus edicts. It might be the first of April before we open and we are closely monitoring the situation. We do not want to endanger our employees or guests,” Ham said.

“Kalamazoo is a really good golfing area. The better we get, the more business we will do,” Ham said.

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