By Wyatt Goolsby
ODESSA - With gas prices so high, many West Texans are looking to spend their Memorial Day closer to home. Most public parks and pools will be open. But if you live in Odessa, there are two major projects that won't be ready in time for the holiday weekend.
Work crews with the City of Odessa are working quickly to get several big projects ready in time for the summer. That includes work on the Ratliff Ranch Golf Course, as well as the spray ground area of McKinney Park. They said Friday they will need a little more time to figure out when everything will be finished. However, when it is, they said, it will be a big plus for Odessa residents.
"There are some real unique features out there, and it is definitely one of a kind in West Texas," Steve Patton, the Director of Parks and Recreation in Odessa, said.
The spray ground at McKinney Park isn't official opened yet, but Friday evening a group of kids in Odessa helped to give it a test run. There's no doubt though, more work will need to be done to finish it all up.
"It is a complicated, very complicated piece of operation. The amount of pumps, there's several computers that operate this; the filtration system is state of the art," Patton added.
He also said they've come a long way with the spray ground. Once all the small parts are fixed, he said it will be even better.
In addition, work crews are working to finish the renovations to Ratliff Ranch Golf Course. Christ McQuatters, a PGA Golf Professional and Manager, said the course has been shut down since 2006, and a lot has been done to improve it.
"We started off with the irrigation and on course improvements by taking out bunkers, adding bunkers, switching some tee boxes around to make them more golfer friendly, redoing some greens, and basically getting water to the course where it needed it," McQuatters explained.
Almost a million gallons of water a day have been sprayed on the grass. That's in addition to the fertilizer added week after week.
"The lack of rain hasn't helped us establish our turf that we have needed desperately in the bear areas," Patton said.
No word yet on what day either the spray ground or the golf course and will open.
"We're going to try to get it open when the course is ready first and foremost. We don't want to rush anything, because if the grass is not mature enough to withstand the amount of traffic and play then we're right back to square one with bear spots and things like that," McQuatters said.
For more information about the golf course, you can look on their website: