Golf will continue at the Eagle Valley complex, Carson City supervisors determined Thursday by a narrow 3-2 vote, following a lengthy review of the changes to the contract.
“I don’t see the renewing of the contract as a reward, I just see it as good business to do that,” Supervisor Karen Abowd said. “The contract with all the amended changes is a reasonable approach to repaying past debt and moving forward with the golf course.”
Supervisors agreed to change the contract with the nonprofit Carson City Municipal Golf Corp., which manages the 36-hole municipal golf course, to collect 6 percent of the annual profit rather than a fixed rate of $120,000, which the corporation had been failing to meet.
City Manager Larry Werner said it was the best solution to keep the golf course in business during a declining economy while paying off the bond money used to build it. Once that is paid off, he said, any profits from the complex will go into city coffers.
“If they have a boomer year, we’ll get 6 percent of that, too,” Werner said. “We think we’ll get everything addressed by 2020.”
Supervisors Jim Shirk and Brad Bonkowski voted against the contract, saying it should go though the competitive bid process.
“From a standpoint of being fair and equal, I would have liked to have seen this go out to bid before this meeting,” Shirk said.
Norm Azevedo, an attorney representing Silver Oak Golf Course, offered to make a bid on the management contract.
“My client would like to bid on operating the course,” he said during public comment. “I was authorized to bring this to the city’s attention.”
Mayor Bob Crowell said bidding out the contract at this point would be unfair to the corporation that took over operations in 2000, inheriting a debt and dilapidated conditions.
“This group came in at the request of the city because it was going under,” Crowell said. “The city was losing money and the golf course was drying up. It’s unfair to bid it after they’ve done everything they’ve done.”
Nearly a dozen golfers took to the podium to tout the golf course and its managers.
“When I first came to town, the Eagle Valley Golf Course was brown,” said Liz Leiper. “No one was playing it and no one cared. Now, Eagle Valley is the best course Northern Nevada has to offer. You have got a treasure here. I would hate to see you do away with it.”
Supervisor John McKenna said he was concerned the city-owned course could unfairly compete with the private courses in town, but said some sort of recreation area was needed to dump the effluent from city’s wastewater plant.
He said a bid process may be worth looking into or an alternate use for the land, as had been suggested in previous meetings. However, he voted in favor of the contract, which the board reviewed for more than two hours, going over each of the 14.14 lines one at a time.
“Basically, I’m ambivalent,” he said. “But we need to move on this. We’ve talked about this issue too many times and for too long.”