Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Editorial: Reviewing the Town’s “Request for Proposal” for the Community Center and Golf and Restaurant Operations

During the January 18th Town Council Meeting, the council directed the staff to prepare a “Request for Proposal” to solicit bids for a Feasibility Study regarding the future operations of the town-owned golf courses and restaurant.

The chosen contractor is expected to produce a “comprehensive report on alternative recreational land uses as well as alternative food and beverage venues, and the economic viability thereof.”

Below are some pertinent excerpts from the 25-page proposal:
“When the Town purchased the Country Club, it was recognized that an additional revenue source was needed to subsidize the operations and provide funding for capital improvements to the facility. As a result, the Town Council approved a 0.5% sales tax increase effective in March 2015 with the dedication of those revenues (approx. $2.1 million annually) to the Community Center Fund.”

“…the year-end net operating loss…is estimated at over $2.1 million compared to a budgeted net loss of $1.5 million. With these projections, the amount of net loss from the golf and food and beverage operations exceeds the available amount of dedicated half cent sales tax revenue earmarked for the operational subsidy, leaving minimal resources available for capital improvements and thereby creating an unsustainable financial situation in the Community Center Fund.”

“The Feasibility Study is intended to provide policymakers with sufficient information to allow them to consider continuation of current food and beverage operations and the merits of continuing the current golf operations as compared to re-purposing the land (or portions of the land) for alternative recreations uses.”

At a minimum, the alternative land use options to be considered are:

  1. Maintain existing 45-hole golf course 
  2. Reduce the number of holes from 45 to 36 
  3. Reduce the number of holes from 45 to 27 
  4. Reduce the number of holes from 45 to 18

Ideas whose time has come
Where are the options for giving up golf altogether or for leasing the Canada course back to HSL? This is allowed per the original purchase agreement. It seems reasonable to expect that these options should have been included as well and one wonders why they were left out of the request.
Bidder's Conference: Yesterday, the town conducted a bidders conference for this project. Listen to it in its entirety here.