City Council backs hike in golf car rentals
Increase to help pay for new cars
BY KEVIN BONESKE
To help finance the purchase of 40 new golf cars at the Northwood Golf Course, the Rhinelander City Council has approved a $1 increase per nine holes to rent a golf car next year.
According to a financing statement the city-owned golf course provided the council, the total purchase price of 40 new Yamaha golf cars after trading in 40 of the course’s old cars would be $132,120, while the estimated annual revenue generated from the rental fee increase would be $16,000 to go along with an expected $6,000 yearly decrease in maintenance costs.
The Northwood Golf Course has been charging a per-person fee of $8 for nine holes and $15 for 18 holes to rent a golf car. The course’s golf professional, Dan Buckley, said the new rate of $9 for nine holes and $17 for 18 holes would be the same as what is charged at other area courses.
However, that change for car rentals won’t affect the Northwood Golf Course’s fees for golf/car combination memberships.
To purchase the new golf cars from Meyer Yamaha of Ishpeming, Mich., the financing plan also approved Monday by the City Council calls for a six-year term with six monthly payments of $3,497.92 each per year, when the golf course would be open from May to October, for a total annual payment of $20,987.52. A down payment of $24,000 from the golf course’s 2016 borrowing would be made with the city ending up owning the cars at the end of financing term.
Council member Tom Gleason, who has questioned the merits of the purchase with the golf course having accumulated approximately $1 million in debt over the years of its operation, cast the lone dissenting vote for the financing plan.
The future financing of the Northwood Golf Course took up several minutes of discussion during Monday’s meeting when a public hearing was held on a proposal to change the golf course from an enterprise fund to a special revenue fund.
After alderman Alex Young and others voiced their expectations about the unlikelihood of the $1 million in debt ever being paid back to the city, council members decided to refer the matter back to the Finance Committee.