The anxiety over a proposed coal mine next to Clearview Golf Course continues for head professional Renee Powell and supporters of the East Canton, Ohio, course. Clearview, listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2001, is the only course designed, built, owned and operated by an African-American. But William (Bill) Powell died Dec. 31 at 93 not assured of the course's future because Buckeye Industrial Mining had received a local zoning variance and had applied for a permit from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to mine coal adjacent to Clearview's 15th hole.
Renee Powell and a group of Clearview advocates will make their case against the strip mine to the ODNR Feb. 24 in Columbus, Ohio. "We're hoping we can present a strong enough case," Powell said. "We need to stay on it. We don't want people to think everything is fine now, because it's not."
ESPN.com reported recently that Buckeye Industrial Mining issued a statement saying it "has decided not to proceed with actively mining in this area at this time. [We] want to make sure that there is a prudent review by appropriate individuals to ensure that the issues of the community are addressed."
"We're making some progress, but we're not all the way there yet," Ohio State Sen. Kirk Schuring (R-Stark County), who opposes the mine, told Golfdigest.com Friday. "Last week, the Buckeye Industrial Mining Company indicated they weren't going to actively pursue mining at the location at this time. I'm going to continue to work with their representatives to try to get more of a definitive answer as to what their intentions are. Until someone tells us that there no longer is an application pending before the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, we will proceed with our plans to have a meeting on the 24th."
Bill Kerman, a senior designer with Hurdzan-Fry Environmental Golf Design, plans to join Powell, Schuring and other Clearview supporters in the presentation to ODNR. "A lot of these mining operations, there is a lot of runoff," Kerman said. "It could be extremely detrimental to the turf and ultimately to the irrigation pond could become contaminated. There are so many negatives. It's kind of a pastoral feeling around Clearview now, and part of the enjoyment of golf is that sense of getting away from everything."
-- Bill Fields