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Opening day for Town of Tonawanda golf courses uncertain

Tonawanda officials had been hoping that golfers would be teeing off at the town’s two public courses as soon as April 15.

But with this week’s polar plunge, officials are telling golfers to expect a May 1 opening.

“If the weather changes, we will strive to open as early as possible,” said Jeffrey P. Ehlers, director of the town’s Youth, Parks and Recreation Department. “We just don’t know what to expect with the weather.”

The ground must reach a temperature of 50 to 55 degrees for it to be aerated and treated with a top dressing of sand, said Ehlers.

“It’s not even close to that,” he said. “This set us back again.”

Even when warmer temperatures return, grounds crews need a long stretch of dry weather so the sand will fill the aeration holes and not clump up, Ehlers said.

The town’s Brighton and Sheridan Park municipal courses have generally opened in the third week of April, according to Ehlers’ review of decades of openings. Earlier, the board approved a five-year lease agreement with Nuttall Golf Cars to supply 90 golf carts at the town’s courses for an annual fee of $10,966.07.

“We got more carts than we have in the past because demand was so much more than it had been,” Ehlers said.

New this year will be one adaptive golf cart for each course. The “SoloRider” is designed for golfers who have limited mobility.

“This will give them better accessibility to golf and enjoy the game, even with a disability,” said Councilman Daniel J. Crangle.

Golfers are strapped into the cart’s single seat, which then swivels around and allows the golfer to reach the ball and swing a club.

“It’ll be interesting to see how many people use it,” Crangle said. “I know we’ve had a demand for it in the last year or so.”

Also Monday, officials announced that a cleanup of the town’s new Rails-to-Trails path will take place from 9 a.m. to noon April 23, in conjunction with Earth Day.

Volunteers will meet at 8:30 a.m. at Lincoln Arena, 1200 Parker Blvd. Online sign-up is at

In other business, Councilman William C. Conrad III announced that a forum on the heroin-opioid epidemic will be held May 4 at Kenmore West High School at a time to be determined.