Rochester Council ready for next round of golf discussions – Post Bulletin

ROCHESTER. Municipal golf courses in Rochester are closed for the winter, but discussions about their future continue.

On Monday afternoon, the Rochester City Council will consider a $500,000-a-year proposal for golf activities and course improvements while maintaining four city-owned courses.

The plan was supported

Rochester Park Board of Directors vote 4:1

earlier this month.

Recommendation

calls for $250,000 in new annual revenue by 2025 through increased fees and a goal of allocating $250,000 a year from property tax funds to the city’s golf program starting in 2024.

These funds will provide $100,000 per year for operations and $400,000 for facility maintenance and upgrades.

In recent years, the annual tax investment in golf has ranged from zero to $666,000 depending on specific improvement projects, income earned, and expenses during the year.

At the same time, several local golfers have said in recent public commentary that they see current season pass prices as a bargain and have spoken out in support of higher golf fees.

The proposal calls for a 20% increase in the price of seasonal passes next year, and then 14% and 12% in subsequent years before reaching an annual increase of 3% to cover expected inflation.

The cost of day tours for people without season passes will increase by 10% next year, then 6% in 2024, and 3% annually, adjusted for inflation, starting in 2025.

Rochester Parks and Recreation director Paul Widman said the proposed increase is based on golf activity recorded over the past five years, including a pre-pandemic decline in rounds played and an increase post-pandemic.

Citing uncertainty about future activity, he said the proposed rate adjustments are not fixed and are subject to change to account for any changes in usage while still meeting the $250,000 annual goal to increase course revenue.

The plan follows the council’s February request for a review of golf operations and a proposal to streamline the city’s program.

The options presented in the review included the option to close the course or change at least one of the courses. Another option would be to maintain the current spending practices, which are predicted to lead to degradation of the city’s rates.

Deputy City Administrator Aaron Parrish said at a Sept. 20 park board meeting that the city is estimated to need to pay $43 million to build new clubhouse courses to match the four it currently uses.

He said regular upgrades and investment in resources would be required to maintain the value of the courses and equipment.

“Even if we thought we needed to invest at the 50 year level, which is the way out – it’s not the normal amortization period you would see in something like this – that would mean you have to invest $862,000 a year. . he said of a strategy that will replace lost value over a 50-year period.

He said average annual investment in improvements in recent years has not kept pace with the needs of golf courses.

The council is expected to hear the report and respond to the proposal during its study session on Monday at 3:30 pm in the City Government Center’s meeting room at 151 Fourth St. SE.

The board will not be able to make a final decision on the golf proposal during the study session, but a decision can be made at the next board meeting in December or January.

Meetings scheduled for the week of November 28 include:

Rochester

• City Council Study Session, Monday, 3:30 pm, in the boardrooms of the City and County Government Center, 151 Fourth St. SE. The meeting will be broadcast live

www.rochestermn.gov/meetings/council-meetings

and be available on cable channel Spectrum 180 or 188 and Metronet channel 80.

• National Police Service Commission, Tuesday, 1:00 pm, room 164B, Center for Development and Infrastructure Services, 4001 West River Parkway.

• Planning and Zoning Commission, Wednesday, 6:00 pm, Government Center Conference Room.

Olmsted County

• Health, Housing, and Human Services Committee, Wednesday, 10:30 am, Conference Room 2 of the City and County Government Center.

• Administrative Committee, Thursday, 2:00 pm, Government Center Meeting Room.

• Physical Development Committee, Thursday, 2:00 pm, Government Center Conference Room 4.

• Council of County Commissioners, Thursday, 3:00 pm in the government center boardroom.

• Tax meeting, Thursday, 6:00 pm, in the government center boardroom.

• Planning Advisory Panel, Thursday, 6:30 pm, Conference Room A, 2122 Campus Drive SE.

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