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Monday, May 2, 2016

City Council tackles state of golf course

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Brazil Mayor Brian Wyndham
The Brazil City Council met Wednesday night for a special meeting to discuss the ongoing financial woes of the Forest Park Golf Course.

Mayor Brian Wyndham began the meeting by summarizing where the golf course stands for those in attendance

"They're financially strapped at this point; they've done some restructuring. Our golf board has worked on this for some time ... to try to make the golf course more financially solvent, and I think that is the goal in mind," Wyndham said.

"At the end of last year, the golf course had some shortcomings financially, and they are still in that position at this point," he said. "They came to a council meeting, requesting a loan from the city, in order to operate and cover some costs they were incurring, and that was granted.

"To be right up front with everybody, I think there was some confusion, and I was sitting out there (in the audience) at that time, and I thought that what was happening was the loan was to cover some cost and things that go on until spring when they open up and start turning some money, and that wasn't the case. Really, that money took care of (all the) 2011 costs, like bills that needed to be paid and things of that nature."

Wyndham opened the floor up to members of the golf board who were in attendance to explain what changes have and will be made to make the golf course more financially sound.

The golf board members explained it made cuts in staffing from a four-person structure to a three-person structure. The new structure will allow one person to look after the whole golf course, a maintenance assistant and a clubhouse assistant.

The golf board said the eliminated position turned out to be golf professional Mark Rogers, who was let go, but had the opportunity to apply for the superintendent position and declined.

The golf board said the eliminated position is a step in the right direction to where it needs to be moving forward in 2012.

The board said it will also be taking over the concession stands, pro shop and tournaments, which were handled by Rogers, to bring in revenue for the board.

Clerk-Treasurer Karen McQueen offered her insight for the big picture.

"At the end of the day, their debt is our debt (because the golf course is owned by the city)," McQueen said.

After hearing some of the golf board's structural changes, the city council gave their opinions and asked questions.

Councilman Dustin Jorgenson said providing a loan without a strict plan for payback was a gamble.

"It's gambling with taxpayer money," Jorgenson said. "If we don't support the golf course, it will go under, and that's a shame. We can't do that ... but to just gamble with tax payer money isn't an ideal thing for us to do either."

Councilman Sam Glover was in agreement with Jorgenson and offered a possible solution.

"I understand the things that we've said are very true, like their debt really is our debt because we own them, but my biggest concern is our lack of accountability," Glover said. "I don't mind loaning the money, but I would go as far to say there be an item on the agenda every month that somebody from the golf course is here telling us where you are and where we are in getting our money back ... I will not vote in favor of this if we don't have some accountability."

The next step the council had to take was to determine the final amount and stipulations of the loan, such as where it will come from.

The council made the motion to provide the golf course with $30,000 as needed, from the Rainy Day Fund.

City Attorney Traci Lawson will have to execute an interfund transfer, and a resolution must be written up and passed at a later date, before the loan can be completed.

The date the council will finalize the loan has not yet been decided, but it will alert the public within the required amount of time before the special meeting will take place.

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All the golf board members has been there for a few yrs, this problem was addressed two yrs ago at which time our ex mayor stepped in and stopped the changes that could have stopped some these problems,thus the course is another $75,000 plus in debt.This new plan was only approved 3-2 by the board so we still have board members not looking out for the city and its golf course.All these 5 members recieve free golf in which I believe is a conflict.They should serve at the interest of the city and one of its most valued assets.Last I heard was this course is almost $300,000 in debt and last yr alone was over 65,000 in the hole.Again this board has let this get out of hand,but they still get their free golf.

-- Posted by brzmm on Thu, Jan 26, 2012, at 8:58 PM

Why have they paved all the roads in the park when they have a debt and can't pay their bills and play free golf?? The roads should not have been a priority. Plus they should have used that $$$ on either the needed bus barn for the school or paving the roads that need it. Wow, are you kidding us or what? I have seen much corruption all over the world but to see it so obvious here in America in 2012 it really stinks. I have been told you guys do the best with what you got, Really! TRY HARDER!! It's our tax $$$ that you are wasting.

-- Posted by Combat VET on Thu, Jan 26, 2012, at 9:46 PM

There needs to be accountability and it needs to be ran like a business... because it is a business.

Instead of a pro we need a marketing adviser to help make profits! There are plenty of community golf pro's that golf out there and would volunteer their time for the course!!!

Accountability to the tax payer money! I agree with Sam and Dustin on this!!!!

Keep up the good work!

-- Posted by Unsolicitedtidbits on Thu, Jan 26, 2012, at 10:47 PM

If it can't sustain itself, shut it down. I'm sure we could turn the pro shop into a daycare that would turn a profit......or just break even, win win

-- Posted by reddevil on Thu, Jan 26, 2012, at 11:13 PM

hey roger for your info the golf course has nothing to do with forest park the park itself, they have a park board that oversees that not the golf course,,, just for info the forest park repaving had nothing to do with the golf course .....

-- Posted by brazil citizen on Fri, Jan 27, 2012, at 1:37 AM

I do believe the City of Brazil, has other issues more pressing then the Golf Course....seriously there is more to life then golf!

-- Posted by clgruener on Fri, Jan 27, 2012, at 9:42 AM

How about raising green fees? Do not close it is it is a gem for the community. No I do not play there!

-- Posted by timber on Fri, Jan 27, 2012, at 11:15 AM

Looks to me as if the "skin players" got what they wanted. A few old timers have once again ruined it for everyone. You old timers remember a few years back when the $1.00 charge was added?? You all threw a fit, but it worked that year keeping the course in the black and the golf board did not have to ask for a loan. Bills were paid & golf employees had a very small raise. Why not raise the green fees? Because that would also interfere with the skin boys. These older players are against moving forward with the times, rude to guests of Clay County and it's youth. You wonder why your community is in such bad shape? Take a look at the past and present times. There is no difference. At this rate you may never have a future. This is so typical Clay County.

-- Posted by mom57 on Mon, Jan 30, 2012, at 3:10 PM

Raise the green fees, and make everyone pay their fare share, lol

-- Posted by reddevil on Mon, Jan 30, 2012, at 10:10 PM

That is the main problem with this community to much busy work with all these different agencies. It's the nepotism and the cronyism favoritism, corruption. We need a clean sweep.

-- Posted by Combat VET on Mon, Jan 30, 2012, at 11:44 PM

Corruption at it's core! Nepotism,Hiring family members and your political buddies is cronyism.Clay County Government IS CORRUPT AND THE CITIZENS NEED TO CLEAN HOUSE!

-- Posted by Combat VET on Wed, Feb 1, 2012, at 10:22 AM


-- Posted by ignoranceisbliss72 on Wed, Feb 1, 2012, at 10:21 PM

Raise the green fees!

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Thu, Feb 2, 2012, at 11:05 AM

Mr. La Plante: I happen to personally know several people who are part of our local government, in the city of Brazil, and also at the County level. All the folks that I know personally are some of the most honest and caring people I've ever known. You say that our County government is "corrupt". I say unless you have specific evidence to prove that claim you should shut your pie hole!!

-- Posted by open minded on Thu, Feb 2, 2012, at 5:04 PM

Turn it into a trailer park...

-- Posted by ignoranceisbliss72 on Thu, Feb 2, 2012, at 11:29 PM

I say unless you have specific evidence to prove that claim you should shut your pie hole!OK OM: Eye witness testimony is still evidence in this county right? Look it up it's all in the court system.

-- Posted by Combat VET on Thu, Mar 8, 2012, at 6:49 PM

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