By a 5-1 vote, council members approved putting out to bid the purchase of new golf carts for the city-owned Lost Plantation Golf Course. The course has had 24 carts under a short-term lease for two months.
Frank Owens voted against going for bids on the golf carts and wanted to see if the money that would go to purchasing new carts could be spent on fixing a road in Towne Park East behind the Subway, Shell station and Sonic restaurant instead.
“I’m all for the golf course,” Owens said. “We’ve spent millions on it. But if we can’t fix that, we don’t need 50 golf carts.”
Lost Plantation’s fleet of golf carts is aging and many of them are prone to breakdowns while in service. But Owens urged to have a road in the Towne Park East complex fixed.
“It won’t hurt another three to six months to wait on new golf carts,” Owens said. “It affects a lot more people from our city than the golf course does.”
LaMeisha Kelly said the proposed budget for fiscal year 2012 has money set aside to repair the streets in Towne Park East. Those repairs were not budgeted for 2011.
Council member Levi Scott chastised Owens for bringing up an item that wasn’t on the agenda.
“We shouldn’t even be discussing it, unless it’s on the agenda,” Scott said. “We have a motion on the floor, and we have a second. We’re not discussing streets; we’re discussing golf carts.”
Owens also offered a warning on the investment made in the golf course.
“That golf course is going to come back and bite y’all,” he said.
The city purchased the golf course, which covers about 300 acres, for approximately $2.5 million. A reuse water irrigation system for the golf course is almost complete, allowing the city to dispense of reuse water produced by its wastewater treatment plant.
“We’re in the process of closing out the golf course project,” said EMC’s Tim Baumgartner, the city’s engineer. “Weather may put us back a couple of days.”
Baumgartner said preliminary plans for curb and gutter and improving the drainage for Towne Park East have been done.
Council members also approved a final site plan for Silverwood Place, a 42-unit housing development that will cater to senior citizens. Council members approved in August annexing 6.93 acres for the senior housing enclave.
Rincon’s planning and zoning commission recommended approval of the site plan, and there were discussions about needing a secondary entrance, Kelly said.
“With the layout, we don’t see how it could be done,” she said. “(The entrance) is wide enough where emergency vehicles could get in there.”
Rincon Fire Chief Corey Rahn said he looked at the site to see if his vehicles could get in there.