COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — After years of losses, officials in a western Iowa city are considering privatizing a 90-year-old city golf course.
The City of Council Bluffs is considering transferring management of Dodge Riverside golf course and its restaurant to a private manager, The Daily Nonpareil (http://bit.ly/2rECtGK ) reported.
The city-owned course was created in 1927. The facility lost just over $300,000 in both fiscal years 2014 and 2015, Mayor Matt Walsh said.
City officials met with staff before the 2016 season to come up with a plan to bring down expenditures, Walsh said. The course eliminated two staff positions and increased green fees by about $2. Despite an increase in revenue, the course still lost just over $250,000. The course is projected to lose about $200,000 in fiscal year 2017, and revenue is down about $130,000.
“We have to make a business decision to stem the losses,” Walsh said. “A small percentage of residents use the course. We have to make decisions for the whole city.”
The city will request proposals from golf course management companies in July. The course’s employees could stay on as employees of the new company, though Walsh said it’s unclear if there would be layoffs because they’d no longer be city employees.
“This would be a business decision,” he said. “And it’s not a decision I take lightly. But we have to be a good steward of taxpayer money.”
The change in management would require City Council approval and changes wouldn’t take effect until the end of the year, after the busy golf season.
Information from: The Daily Nonpareil, http://www.nonpareilonline.com