The Lancaster Common Council’s decision to
have the city run the the Lancaster Municipal
Golf Course, was prompted by the hard financial
times that had afflicted the golf course.
How bad was it ???
An article in Sunday’s Dubuque Telegraph
Herald on local golf courses reports the
City of Lancaster covered a debt-service shortfall
to pay for the back-nine, with an internal
loan from the city’s general fund.
The loan was approved with the understanding
the golf course would eventually pay it off.
But that didn’t happen.
The city eventually had to write-off the
internal loan of $485,000, because the
golf course wasn’t generating the needed
City Clerk Dave Kurihara says the city
decided to go back to having the course
run by the city, with the understanding
that money from the general fund may
have to cover the costs of running the
golf course. He says the budget subsidy
is for about $50,000. By comparison,
the city allocates about $70,000 a year
for the municipal swimming pool.
Typically, the Lancaster Common Council
would go into closed session when it talked
about financial information concerning
the golf course. But Kurihara says the
city writing off the $485,000 internal loan
was in an audit report which is accessible to
the general public.
By the way, the same article in the T-H also
points how difficult it is financially, to run
a golf course today. According to the
National Golf Foundation, just over
150 golf courses in the United States
closed last year.