Four! Or maybe Nov. 3…

As fall suddenly springs upon Minot, management of Souris Valley Golf Course is looking toward winter. At the golf committee meeting of the Mintot Park Board midday Tuesday, commissioners and staff discussed different options for the course’s closure.

A Nov. 3 closing date was recommended by the course superintendent, Kim Knatterud.

Weather-permitting, but of course. “Everyone knows what Halloween can be like. It can be 65 or it can be 10 below,” he told those at the meeting.

“If you need to close it sooner, you’ll just need to go and do that,” said Cliff Hovda, the park commissioner who chairs the committee. With a monthly park board meeting already set for Oct. 22, after discussing it further the committee decided to settle on a closing date then, when they would have the benefit of a 10-day forecast.

“That would be a nice season,” agreed course pro Steve Kottsick.

“Even if it’s nice,” Knatterud went on to add, he would still need time to prepare the greens for winter. Asked if he could work around a staggered nine holes for the season’s end, he was sure “that’s something we can do.”

Thinking beyond the season’s last stroke, the committee began plotting out approved trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The district is also looking into acquiring attachments suitable for grooming pathways for skiers at the golf course, Oak Park and Bison Plant Trail.

In other business, the meeting began with the full board placing and passing its proposed budget for 2014. By now its third reading, the plan was passed without much discussion. Covering everything from ongoing projects to salaries and maintenance costs, the nearly $11 million budget will proceed to Ward County for certification and final approval.