Golf play is open at Banks Lake Golf Course, and the port district has slashed membership rates significantly.
Individual memberships have dropped from $750 a year to $400 and membership for couples or families has been trimmed fom $950 to $450, less than half.
Port District 7 commissioners said last Thursday that this was an effort to soften the blow to some 39 golf members who pre-paid for the season, and whose money and memberships got caught up in the closing of the course a month ago when officials of the Banks Lake Golf and Country Club relinquished their lease. The 39 will have to pay again, but at a much lower rate.
Junior memberships now are $50, just half of what they were a year ago. Senior memberships are $400, down from $650; and senior couples will pay $450, down from $850.
“This should encourage more people to play golf.” Port District Chairman Orville Scharbach said.
A nine-hole round will cost a golfer $20; 18-hole play is $30.
Commissioners even cut costs for golf cart owners. Gas cart storage fees dropped from $350 a year to $200, and electric cart fees dropped from $375 to $225.
Port commissioners took the greater part of their meeting dealing with the details of running a golf course. Commissioners are even taking shifts at the front office. They hired staff and set wages, discussed purchasing fertilizer and treatment of the greens.
Commissioners are looking into moving leases over on mowers and trying to lease new rental carts.
Scharbach started the meeting by saying, “I’ve got good news.” Then he went on to say that the port district will manage the course this year.
An effort to find a new operator for the course hasn’t produced anything as yet.
Commissioners poured over outstanding bills left over by former operator Russ Horn.
A lien on inventory items, Scharbach said, amounts to $13,640, and is being handled by offering Horn $8,000 for everything on the list. “Some of the items are ones I donated to the course from the Wildlife,” said Commissioner Larry Maier, former Wildlife Restaurant owner. Many items were identified by commissioners as not worth buying.
Various licenses and permit applications were approved for the golf course.
In other action, commissioners approved a grant application for a new truck with a snow plow attachment.