Smithville Golf Course Remains Closed as Aldermen Ponder Decision

November 16, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville aldermen have yet to decide what to do about the Smithville Municipal Golf Course, which remains closed for now.

During Monday night's meeting, the aldermen voted to have a committee study to determine cost estimates and then have a workshop to discuss whether the city should hire someone to manage the operation or lease it.

At the last meeting two weeks ago, the city set a Friday, November 12th deadline for anyone interesting in running the golf course to submit a proposal.

Tony Poss sent in a proposal with two options for the city to consider. The following is Poss's first proposal:

"I will honor any proposals already submitted to the City of Smithville. This is just another option I want the city to consider."

"I will pay the city $100 per year lease"

"The city will purchase a greens mower, golf carts, tractor and gang mower and any other equipment needed for the course that the city approves."

"If the city cannot purchase equipment necessary, I will consider furnishing the equipment needed".

"The city will pay all expenses associated with the pool including lifeguards wages."

"The city will provide insurance on all of the golf course and swimming pool property"

"The city will pay for any expenses on the equipment except fuel that the city purchases. If I purchase the equipment, I will pay for expenses on equipment that I purchase."

"I will hire the lifeguards and any other employees needed for the pool and the city will pay their wages"

"I would like a contract for 10 years and a 10 year extension in order to have time to rebuild the business."

The following is Poss's second proposal:

"I will honor any proposals already submitted to the City of Smithville. This is just another option I want the city to consider."

"I will pay the city $100 per month lease for 5 years and $150 per month for every month thereafter as long as I am the current tenant."

"The city will purchase a greens mower, golf carts, tractor and gang mower and any other equipment needed for the course that the city approves."

"The city will pay electric and water utilities during the months of April through October every year."

"The city will pay for any pool supplies needed and any repairs on the pool, golf course, and pro-shop."

"The city will provide insurance on all the golf course and swimming pool property."

"The city will pay for any expenses on the equipment except fuel."

"I will hire the lifeguards and any other employees needed for the pool and the city will pay their wages for 5 years. If after 5 years the golf course and pool is becoming profitable, I will pay for the lifeguards wages."

"I will return all money received from regular admission charges of the pool to the city during the first five years."

"I will retain all the revenues of the pro-shop and golf course"

"I would like a contract for 10 years and a 10 year extension in order to have time to rebuild the business."

"I would like to re-open the golf course as soon as possible to recruit new members and re-establish this business as a child-friendly, family oriented environment. The club house needs to be re-done and this will take a little time to make this transition. I will take care of the greens at no charge until the city can make all the legal paperwork official and award me the lease or managing position."

"I will give the city a 90 days notice of any intent to terminate a lease or managing position."

Mayor Taft Hendrixson said he found Poss's first proposal to be of some interest. But, Alderman Aaron Meeks said he wants to know what the city's costs would be before committing to any proposal. "I think we need some cost figures. I don't know how we can write a blank check without knowing what the amount on the check is going to be. One of these proposes that the city purchase the equipment. I don't know what the equipment costs. I have no idea. If the city is going to purchase it, I want to see figures on every single one of these items on what it's going to cost the city before I give it any consideration."

Poss said he would like for the aldermen to give him some indication of what they're going to do with the golf course. "I just need to know which direction or which proposal you're considering. Is it's Faron's or ours? We really don't have anything to start with."

Mayor Hendrixson responded, " My opinion may be different from the board's, but my opinion is that I would love to lease it to someone and they furnish their own equipment and I'd be willing (for the city) to maybe pay the pool expenses. But that's my opinion only."

Faron Hendrix of Smithville Golf Management, who recently terminated his golf course lease with the city for economic reasons, has also submitted proposals to manage the operation and possibly sell his golf course equipment to the city.

Speaking to the mayor and aldermen Monday night, Hendrix expressed his frustration with the city's indecision. "Steve (White), you asked for this (golf) course two years ago and how many times have you asked me for it since, for the city to run it? We don't know what you want. You tell us one thing and then you change your mind. Be honest. Be transparent. We still pay taxes in the city and we're tired of hearing it. You're not acting responsible at all. We've had a lot of people work over there for free to promote this course. We've been transparent and told you what the problem was but you're not reacting. We've given you proposals and you're not even reading them. The code says you can buy used equipment and we've offered it to you for hardly nothing to keep the thing going. A lot of people have worked hard and haven't made a dime over there and the course is in better shape than it's ever been and if you don't believe it, call Jim Alexander(former golf course manager). He knows what it was like when he left there. It was a dust bowl. We've got greens, t-boxes, and the fairways are decent. Had we gotten water (sprinkler system), you would have had something over there, but you don't have water on the fairways so you're dependent on the current conditions and climate. So what are you going to do? Are you going to close it? You have no answers for us. We're willing to help you. If you don't want us to have it, we're here to help you. We've offered everything to try and take care of it through April 1st. You didn't want to act on that. It's still my city. I pay taxes in this city and I work hard. I've given a lot of time over there. A lot more than any of you would ever give over there. We've tried to provide something for these kids and adults to do besides sit around and do nothing. It's a little bit of exercise."

Alderman Steve White said he has always preferred that the city assume control of the golf course and hire someone to manage it, while seeking grants to help improve it. Something, he said the city cannot do if it leases the golf course to some private individual or group as it has done in the past. "I still think the city needs to run it as I've always said. But I think that with these different proposals, some of them offer the opportunity for the city to run it and hire a manager. Some of them offer just like what you offered (Faron) for the city to take it over, get part of the proceeds so we can get grants, just like I've said from the beginning, and basically let the city sublease or subcontract the labor. I move that we either get a committee together to get some figures on what it would cost to purchase some used (golf course) equipment and to find out what expenses we're going to have and then maybe have a workshop on it in a few days."

The golf course committee, made up of Aldermen Steve White, W.J. (Dub) White, and Aaron Meeks are expected to meet soon at Steve White's suggestion to review the proposals and discuss potential costs to the city.

Follow Us


facebook.jpg

News Feed
feed.png

WJLE Radio

2606 McMinnville Hwy
Smithville, TN 37166

Phone: 615 597-4265
FAX: 615 597-6025
Email: wjle@dtccom.net

Local News

6:30 A.M.
7:30 A.M.
8:55 A.M.
12:00 NOON
4:00 P.M.
9:45 P.M.

DTC Communications

Fiddlers Jamboree