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Jo Clifton is the Politics Editor for the Austin Monitor.
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Tuesday, October 15, 2019 by Jo Clifton
Save Historic Muny District has a board of directors
The Save Historic Muny District, which represents those who wish to preserve the first integrated golf course in the South, now has a board of directors. The board includes Mary Arnold and Ken Tiemann, both longtime advocates for the Lions Municipal Golf Course, as well as Volma Overton III, the grandson of the legendary NAACP president, lobbyist Andrea McWilliams and attorney Brian Greig.
The 141-acre golf course sits on prime property along Lake Austin Boulevard owned by the University of Texas. The city of Austin has a lease on the course that will expire next May.
Legislation sponsored by Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, and Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, provided for the creation of the district and the appointment of its board. That same legislation would allow the district to collect fees from utility customers in surrounding West Austin neighborhoods in order to finance purchase of the property. However, the board could not impose and collect those fees without an affirmative vote from those who would be footing the bill.
A group including Mayor Steve Adler and representatives of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Preservation Texas, the Nature Conservancy, the Texas Historical Commission and the Texas State Preservation Board appointed the board at a Sept. 24 meeting.
The course is on the National Register of Historic Places because of its novel place in the history of integration.
Arnold told the Austin Monitor that the new board of directors plans to hold its first meeting on Oct. 24 and hopes to have it in the Tom Penick Room at the golf course. She noted that the board will post notices about its meetings on the city website.
Arnold said it’s important for the group to move quickly in raising money to convince the University of Texas, which owns the property, not to sell or lease it to a developer.
Under the legislation, the district will dissolve by May 31, 2021, unless it has reached an agreement with the university.
The headline of this story has been changed since publication to reflect the full name of the board. Photo courtesy of the city of Austin.
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