Port St. Joe commissioners like the idea but at least one plaintiff in a recent lawsuit was not as thrilled last week.

Commissioners approved, in concept, a nine-hole disc golf layout between Tom “Dooder” Park on 18th Street and Buck Griffin Lake and the acreage surrounding it out to 20th Street.

The cost to the city would be a nominal cost of baskets at the “hole” sites instead of flags.

The area is already maintained by city crews and was once an actual golf course.

The course will be similar to the one at Under the Oaks Park in Parker, said Michael Lacour, head of finance.

He added that the landscape between the 18th Street Park and Buck Griffin Lake was ideal.

“The obstacles and trees will allow for a nice layout,” Lacour said. “It is low impact and it draws more activities to those parks.

The layout will come together in the coming weeks, said John Grantland of Public Works, who said work on replacing the bridges around Buck Griffin Lake, particularly the bridge between the two park areas, will be a priority.

Commissioner David Ashbrook encouraged staff to notify neighbors of the project.

Not notifying neighbors led to contention and litigation when renovation of the 10th Street Ball Park was being considered by county and city, resident Charles Gather said.

The litigation ultimately ended the project until such time as the city seeks a development order for the project.

One of those litigants was present and criticized commissioners for approving a project which could have the same detrimental impacts on the immediate area as the 10th Street renovations.

During the ensuing discussion, commissioners embraced the idea of a committee focused solely on parks and said they would continue to pursue a fair share of Gulf County Tourist Development dollars.

Cutting costs at the water plant

Commissioners approved moving ahead on a pilot study funded and overseen by Florida Rural Water to examine the cost-effectiveness of recycling backwash at the water plant.

The system is being used by Bay County among others and by recycling the city would hope to cut costs.

The city loses roughly 50,000 gallons a day in backwash, plant supervisor Larry McClamma said.

“That is a lot of water,” McClamma said. “We’d like to end that. We are trying to find ways to save money.”

The benefits of recycling the backwash is it would reduce chemical costs and less water being pumped into the wastewater lagoon.

The pilot study will cost under $5,000 with Florida Rural Water picking up the tab.

Commissioners and especially Mayor Rex Buzzett have expressed strong desires to reduce costs at the water and wastewater plant.

The city bid out the chemicals used at the water plant earlier this year and realized significant savings.