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Coral Oaks outsourcing may be decided Monday

By Staff | Sep 24, 2011

Discussion of proposals calling for the outsourcing of at least some Coral Oaks Golf Course operations remained on council agenda Friday, but at least one council member thinks the proposal should be pulled altogether Monday.

Chris Chulakes-Leetz said the golf course should be allowed to fix its own problems before allowing an outside agency to come in and take over.

“My preference is let’s allow the 2012 budget year to proceed before we make a final prognosis,” he said. “I think we probably identified the failure of management in the process.”

Approximately $54,000 in storm water fees that should have been waived “years ago,” Chulakes-Leetz said, along with $70,000 in savings identified by golf course maintenance personnel, will help to make up for the additional $127,000 that was put back into the FY 2012 budget on Thursday.

Chulakes-Leetz said the golf course should be allowed to fail or succeed as a group before any changes are made.

“If the golf course is to be outsourced, then it needs to be outsourced in its entirety,” he said. “The maintenance workers cannot fail unless management has failed the worker. Therefore management needs to go if that’s the will of the council.”

Councilmember Derrick Donnell said he’s against any city personnel losing their jobs but if the proposal to outsource is defeated then the council is faced with making up those funds. He did not think there was enough support on the dais for the plan.

“The maintenance part was approved in Gary King’s budget so we have to do something with it,” Donnell added.

Councilmember Marty McClain thinks there might other ways for the golf course to increase its revenue, but management has to be given a chance since being put on notice.

With the debt service set to expire next year, McClain said the city and the course could be in a much better position.

“I want them to reorganize their business structure,” McClain said. “There’s a lot of opportunity and components there and golfers spend money.”

The council has several options at its disposal, including outsourcing maintenance, management or both. Or the city could choose to lease the course to a private entity while still retaining ownership.

The city received 15 proposals through a Request for Proposal, including five for grounds maintenance, eight for management and two looking to lease the course.

Public response to the proposal was decidedly negative at the proposal’s introduction Monday night, with council chambers packed with both users of the course and those who said the city needs to keep this assets and all its functions in-house.

Council meets Mondays at 4:30 p.m. in the council chambers of City Hall on Cultural Park Boulevard.