Dan Self and Richard Roehrman took advantage of a break in the heat to play a round at L.W. Clapp Golf Course one afternoon this week. "We thought we'd come out before it closes," Self said.
Actually, closing a course is only one of the options that City Manager Robert Layton suggested last month to help resolve the financial distress of the five city-owned courses, including Clapp.
But he firmly has his eye set on doing something very soon. The numbers say it's a must:
If everything stays as it is and all the planned capital improvements are made, the courses would be more than $6 million in the hole by 2020.
Right now, the courses are a separate enterprise. The golf system must make it on its own without any tax dollars. That might change.
"If we don't turn this around, we'll never be able to pay the debt service and we'll have a permanent property tax subsidy for the golf course system," Layton said after a hearing Wednesday night at MacDonald Golf Course. "That's fine, if that's the City Council's policy, but right now we've backdoored into it."
The courses are making money — $180,000 in 2010 — but they haven't made enough to meet their debt obligation since 2004.
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