COLUMBUS, OH – In 1989, the Franklin County Landfill officially closed. Over the next two decades the once dump site would be transformed into the Phoenix Golf Links. Just in the last year, the old landfill has been the center of controversy.
It all began when Phoenix Golf Links managers uncovered the leakage of methane gas in a variety of locations. The leak was stemming from a faulty gas collection system, that is under the golf course. Both the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) and those who managed the course wanted the other to fix the problem, resulting in a court case.
In January of 2014 the dispute was settled with SWACO buying out the 30-year lease for $2.3 million dollars. Although the deal gives complete control of the golf course to SWACO, they have no desire to manage the links on a daily basis. Currently the Phoenix Golf Links is under operation of previous employees with SWACO taking offers from potential bidders.
SWACO plans to find management for the Columbus course but will retain ownership and handle any of the maintenance and costs from the gas collection system. They have already spent $1.2 million dollars to fix the current leakage problems and estimate to spend 1.8 million more for the complete repair. Fortunately by creating a 19th hole, SWACO is able to make the necessary repairs while having the course fully operational.
Although high fees are facing the course, SWACO plans to use some of these issues to their advantage. Currently they are working on technology to safely convert the gas from the old landfill to fuel wind turbines. This will power the entire Phoenix Golf links and much more.
Since SWACO has no interest in managing the golf course, it is a viable option that the land will return to its original state. However transforming the course into an earthen cap would be at the cost of 2.4 million dollars. Also, SWACO has been very transparent with their hopes for keeping the Phoenix Golf Links open, but the right management needs to be found.
SWACO is currently offering a 10 year contract, which would hopefully give the new investor an opportunity to turn the course around. Managing a golf course that sits atop a landfill delivers some unique challengers. The Phoenix Golf Links is also situated in the center of an industrial neighborhood of Columbus and this could been an additional source of the delay to find management.
This is not the only landfill course that SWACO owns and operates in the State of Ohio. The Golf Depot in Gahanna, Ohio has been very successful and hopefully this aspect will help attract bids. With the golf season winding down, there will be an opportunity for the interested parties to find a solution.
Once a hole filled with the garbage of Columbus area residents has been transformed into 185 acres of green grass. Over 500 golf courses in America close every year and most of them are not facing the challenges of the Phoenix Golf Links. Although the golf course is more environmentally friendly than a landfill, it does leave Columbus with less waste removal options. Please contact Budget Dumpster for any Columbus trash removal needs.