A consulting firm will look at what the City of Rhinelander should do with the money-losing city-owned Northwood Golf Club. One recommendation might be the sale of the course.
The city council Monday evening approved hiring Green Golf Partners of Indiana to recommend a course of action at the course on the city's far west side.
City Administrator Keith Kost said the firm will look at improving current management, look at third-party management and look at the possibility of selling the course. Kost said it would be completed within 60 days. Cost is $10,000.
Kost outlined some of the numbers...
"....we're down about $254,000 in revenues through Aug. 8 from what was budgeted. This year the debt service for the golf course is$53,000. The projected loss this year but the budget was $51,000. What's projected now with the revenues being down is over $108,000..."
Since the course began in May of 1989, it has borrowed more than 900,000 from city coffers to keep running.
The course has been evaluated as bringing in millions of dollars to the city's economy, but Alderman Alex Young said the time has come to figure out a solution...
"...at least in the 13 years I've been around to come up with a solution and we haven't done that. I think for a nearly $1 million dollar problem it's well worth $10,000 for a consultant to maybe come up with a way to solve this for the city in the long term...."
The city still owes $1.3 million. Mayor Dick Johns said it's time to act, but many factors have to be considered before a decision is made.
The council voted unanimously to hire Green Golf Partners.