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Projects won't delay golf course opening

Looking forward to hitting the links this spring, some golfers are having trouble seeing beyond the construction-scarred landscape at Sheridan Park Golf Course in the Town of Tonawanda.

"It looks bad," said Dan Wiles, director of the Youth, Parks & Recreation Department. "I don't think it's really as bad as it looks."

Two public works projects begun in the off season have affected the course -- particularly the 11th tee box and fairway: installation of a new storm sewer on Sheridan Drive and stream bank stabilization along Two Mile Creek.

Work on the former has moved beyond the golf course, and the latter is in its final stages.

"Good news on both fronts," reported Ken Maving, director of the Water Resources Department.

The installation of concrete block walls along the creek is complete and crews were top dressing the eastern bank. "We're just waiting for the sod farms to open," Maving said.

"We are ahead of schedule. The project really went well," he said.

The storm sewer project is much bigger and will take longer, but work has progressed to a point beyond the golf course. Because of the construction, restoration work is needed in the area of the 11th hole.

"The 11th tee has been lost because of the work they had to do. We knew that would happen," Wiles said.

Repairs were needed on the sprinkler system, and the area was graded late last week.

There's also routine maintenance.

"There's a few things we have to do," Wiles said. "I would like to get everything cut two or three times. We also have to aerate the course."

A 10-day curing period follows aeration.

"I am confident everything will be in very good shape," Wiles said.

Appearances aside, Wiles and Maving are confident the course will be ready for golfers next month.

"We're hoping that by mid-April, we will have all the restoration wrapped up and ready to go," Maving said.

But everything is always weather-dependent, Wiles cautioned.

That said, opening by May 1 pretty much is guaranteed; the third week of April has been the case in recent years.

"We'll be shooting for something like that," Wiles said.

e-mail: jhabuda@buffnews.com

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