MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board voted 6-3 Wednesday to reduce the amount of groundwater being pumped away from the Hiawatha Golf Course, meaning the course will no longer exist in its current state after 2019.

This all goes back to when the course flooded in 2014. The Minnesota DNR realized the course was pumping much more water than they were permitted into Lake Hiawatha.

Park board officials say the property could still include a nine-hole course, but it can’t be an 18-hole course, because it won’t be able to pump enough water.

WCCO-TV caught up with former Vikings player John Turner before he played at Hiawatha on Thursday morning. He hopes the course can remain viable in some form.

“Nine holes is better than no holes,” he said. “But if you ask me what I prefer, I prefer 18.”

The course is supposed to pump 94 million gallons annually, but has been pumping more than double that number – 242 million gallons per year.

Michael Shroeder, the assistant superintendent of planning for the park board, claims the number of golfers in the city of Minneapolis is on the decline, so this wasn’t a decision members took lightly, however they needed to be responsible stewards of the land and the environment.

Schroeder said the planning process for the future of Hiawatha could take between 9 and 12 months.

The park board plans on hosting a series of meetings to get input late this year or early next year.

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