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City wants more to play a round

POSTED: December 12, 2011 6:34 p.m.

Rincon is trying to get more business for its golf course.

City council members are expected to approve a bid for new golf carts for Lost Plantation Golf Club at their meeting Monday night.

“I think we are changing the reputation of the course every day,” said course superintendent Seth Zeigler. “We need to get more people out there.”

But council members are worried that the investment the city has made in purchasing the golf course — paying $2.5 million for the nearly 300 acres — with the prospect of using it to disperse the reuse water generated by the city’s wastewater treatment plant. New irrigation lines and mechanisms were put in for the golf course, with nine holes being closed at a time in order for the work to be done.

All 18 holes are now open.

Council member Reese Browher said his first job was working at the course’s cart barn and commended Zeigler and his staff for what they’ve done with the course.

“It looks fantastic,” he said.

Council members, though, are wondering when their investment in the course is going to pay off.

“I’ve been for buying it,” Council member Paul Wendelken said. “But we’re in our third year now. We’re not servicing the debt. We’re not re-paying the general fund. There’s no end in sight. When do we turn the tide? I don’t see a break-even point coming.”

Wendelken also said the course is the best it’s ever looked, but right now “what we have is a sprayfield that is losing property value.”

Zeigler is hoping to replace 50 aging golf carts, and council members will decide between bids submitted by Club Car and Yamaha. Each bidder will offer a rebate on each of the carts the course is retiring, though Yamaha is offering almost $500 more per cart.

Browher also questioned when the city would begin to see the course climb out of the financial hole. He also urged the city to begin to replenish its reserves. The city, in the middle of several different infrastructure projects, is scheduled to spend about $9 million on those items.

“These projects are coming at a time where we can do them,” said council member Scott Morgan.

Added council member Ken Baxley: “We’ve got a lot of capital projects we need to do, and we’ve been saving up to do them.”

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