City Council approves seeking new management at Northwood Golf Course
Terminating golf pro, restaurant operator also backed
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
Individuals with an interest in the city-owned Northwood Golf Course filled the Council Chambers on Monday night when Rhinelander City Council voted 7-1 in favor of hiring a management company and/or a manager with total golf course operation experience to run the course.
The recommendation the majority of council members backed from interim city administrator Keith Kost also calls for terminating the employment of the course’s golf professional, Dan Buckley, as well as the lease of the restaurant operator, Dave O’Melia. However, the approved changes at the course don’t call for getting rid of the golf superintendent, Joe Andersen.
Alderman Steve Sauer, who cast the lone dissenting vote, said the council needed to accept its share of the blame for the course having lost money.
Alderman Alex Young said a change needed to be made at the course, or it would continue to lose money.
The council’s action comes on the heels of a report completed this fall for the city by a hired consultant, Green Golf Partners, which reviewed the course’s current management practices. The Northwood Golf Course has accumulated a deficit of more than $1 million over the years of its operation.
Kost said it is his opinion the city is incapable of developing a plan to increase revenue or reduce expenses, which would necessitate the hiring of either a management company or a full-time manager. He noted a one-year management agreement likely would be sought initially with the selection of a third-party management firm planned in February for the company to take over running the course in 2018.