City and curling club reach dealFor $10 on Monday, the Two Harbors Curling Club bought its building from the city with a few conditions.
For $10 on Monday, the Two Harbors Curling Club bought its building from the city with a few conditions.
At its regular meeting, the city council tied up various loose ends involving the ownership of the curling club, as well as the management of the Lakeview National Golf Course clubhouse, located on the same Highway 61 property at the east end of the city.
The city transferred ownership of the Two Harbors Curling Club building in exchange for the club taking responsibility for the building’s maintenance, repairs, and upkeep. The city will pay the $1,200 annual lease for the golf course clubhouse building. The curling club agrees to keep the clubhouse open if the golf course is sold to another party. The lease is 10 years and once it expires, the curling club can renegotiate a deal with a third party.
“I feel the curling club and the city really put together a fair package that will do what is most important and that is to be assured that we will continue to have curling and golf opportunities in our town,” said Rick Osbakken, curling club president.
He said he was nervous about the whole arrangement, but said it’s all about chances.
“My dad and eight other board members took a chance 46 years ago when they started the Two Harbors Curling Club; having a new facility, and a significant mortgage, etc.,” Osbakken continued. He said he believes the city will take the necessary steps to make repairs to improve the condition of the course.
The curling club must also agree to manage the golf course pro shop for the city and pay the city a portion of proceeds for any sale of the building.
Earlier this year, the Two Harbors City Council approved property tax abatement for up to 20 years for the curling club. The city doesn’t currently collect property taxes on the property, which would run about $6,000 to $7,000 a year.
The curling club is also hoping to get abatement from the county. The school district and county don’t currently collect property taxes on the parcel, either. The amount of property taxes that would be collected on the property would be about $13,000 to $14,000 from all three entities. If the district and county both agree to abate the property with the city, the longest an abatement could last would be 15 years. If only two entities agree, the abatement could last up to 20 years.
The city went into a one-year contract with the curling club for managing the clubhouse from April 15 to Oct. 31. Should the city request services beyond that time, it will pay the curling club $100 a day.
The curling club will provide 13 hours per day of staffing for 198 days, with the city paying $130 a day for a total of $25,740. The city will also pay $1,000 for every $5,000 in gross revenues from sales of season tickets, daily sales of green fees, and motorized cart sales (excluding driving range revenues) in excess of $210,000.
Council member Jerry Norberg said the council was originally going to give the curling club a percentage of green fees totaling about $30,000, so the new format works out better for the city. He said the lowest bid from an independent contractor to run the clubhouse was $102,000.
“If the course is deemed unplayable by the golf course maintenance manager, the contractor (the curling club) is not required to open the pro shop or provide any city- related services,” the agreement reads. “The contractor may, however, choose to be open even if the golf course is not playable.”
The curling club will coordinate the sale of daily green fees, punch cards, season passes, and motorized carts on behalf of the city as well as reserving tee times and coordinating tournaments. The curling club will also be responsible for golf course assistants who are volunteers for the city and will provide items for the pro shop area such as golf balls, tees, and apparel. The club will have full discretion on inventory and pricing and retain all revenue from the sale of pro shop items.
Pencils and scorecards will also be covered by the city, which is also responsible for providing electricity for charging, fueling, and maintaining the motorized carts.
The city will set rates and provide pricing for all green fees, season passes, and motorized cart sales. The city has agreed to assist in getting money to promote Lakeview National Golf Course through regional advertising and marketing campaigns. The city will also pay up to $750 for website creation and maintenance and pay for all telephone and internet access, building security, and utilities.
“We’re not milking a dry cow here,” said council member Seth McDonald about the city reinvesting in the golf course. He said improvements at the golf course are going to help golfers and non-golfers alike.
The council also approved a 5 percent early bird discount rate for season ticket holders March 21-April 15. Last season, there were 106 season ticket holders at the rate of about $500 each.