LAWRENCE - A mini-golf course that has been operating for nearly 40 years in Lawrence may be forced to close down after its rent went through the roof.

Five Towns Mini-Golf & Batting Range has been a summer fixture along Rockaway Turnpike. The Department of Transportation, which owns the property, recently increased the rent by 161 percent.

"Bottom line, we cannot survive that type of an increase," says owner Marty Rosen.

He says the increase in rent would ultimately lead to an increase in their cost of operations.

The DOT released a statement regarding the increase saying, "The agency conducted a statewide review of DOT properties to assess fair market value. All properties in The Five Towns area were part of that review and subject to a rent increase more reflective of the region's current property values."

The statement goes on to say that the owner of Five Towns Mini-Golf was "notified in December and given the opportunity to appeal based on assessment values of comparable properties. That appeal is under review."