March 15, 2019
By: Dwayne Page
City officials had expected to have a tenant at the Smithville Municipal Golf Course by now but after weeks of advertising no one has stepped forward with the proposal to lease it.
With the golf season about to get into full swing, the mayor and aldermen have chosen another course of action.
During a special meeting Thursday night, the aldermen voted to enter into a one year contract with Jimmy Lewis to be the caretaker of the golf course for $33,000. The board also voted to hire Jeania Cawthorn to be the manager of the Municipal Swimming Pool and Golf Pro Shop for $25,000 for the year. As a city employee, Cawthorn will be eligible for health insurance and any other benefits offered by the city.
The city will receive all revenues from the facilities but will continue to bear the expense of life guards, pool upkeep, and provide the equipment and fuel for mowing at the golf course.
In the absence of a full time operator, the city had been paying Ray Underwood just under $20,000 to be the interim caretaker of the course. With Lewis taking on the job, Underwood will be leaving.
“We put this out there and I know it has been on the forefront of everyone’s mind. We have practically begged people to put in a lease but we just couldn’t find anyone to take it,” said Mayor Josh Miller.