Golf course contract approved by Two Harbors City CouncilTalk about the golf course raised quite a few eyebrows Monday night. The Two Harbors City Council debated how much the new contract between Tee-Line Management and the city should be worth. Tee-Line Management will be paid $30,000 to manage the golf course pro shop.
Talk about the golf course raised quite a few eyebrows Monday night. The Two Harbors City Council debated how much the new contract between Tee-Line Management and the city should be worth. Tee-Line Management will be paid $30,000 to manage the golf course pro shop.
“We feel that this is staying within our budget and still giving Tee-Line the best chance to succeed while getting the city ‘the bang for their buck’ for lack of a better term,” said Councilor Jerry Norberg. He said it had been a tough negotiations process between the city and Tee-Line Management, a sub-committee of the Two Harbors Curling Club. Last year the THCC bought its own building from the city for $10. As part of that agreement, it agreed to manage the golf course pro shop for the city.
Councilor Mary Rosati did not concur with Norberg. “If you give away the farm, you might as well give away the tractor and that’s what I think you did,” she said.
Rosati questioned giving away 20 complimentary golf course passes for local events and others for media exposure. Norberg told her that the media passes were to help combat a very negative review the golf course received last year and garner good publicity.
The contract also stipulates that the city will pay all utility costs for the entire building for the golf course season. “Why would we pay for somebody else’s garbage? And why would we pay for utilities?” Rosati asked.
Councilor Steve Detlefsen, who had also been involved in the negotiations, said there were going to be some growing pains in handing over management to Tee-Line but the cost of managing the pro shop costs a lot. “I think they’ve done us a huge favor in doing this and taking this over,” he said.
Detlefsen said he would be open to renegotiating that part in the contract in two years after Tee-Line had gotten on its feet. “I heard a lot of backlash from other bars and restaurants around town that we’re supporting them. Wouldn’t that be great if our utilities were paid? I’ve heard it all. Bottom line, we have to stand behind them to keep this thing moving,” he said.
Rosati said she knew she was picking apart the contract but that the council had to remember the costs associated with the golf course. “There are many, many people in the city of Two Harbors that do not golf and it costs over $300,000 and it’s in the hole every single solitary year,” she said. “And when I look at pieces of paper like this and I see what we’re giving away, I have a hard time swallowing it.”
The council approved the contract unanimously, but Rosati still had some words of warning and said if the golf course continues to lose the type of money it’s losing for the next two years, the city has to look at doing something with it. “I want to go on record as saying that the golf course is killing us,” Rosati said. “There’s several things in that contract that I feel should have been taken out. But let’s give them a chance to try and work it.”
The council later found itself in another discussion at the 5 p.m. meeting over a much different subject: pets.
Councilor Chris Swanson, who is the head of the Public Affairs committee, said attendees came with suggestions to modify the Two Harbors pet ordinance at the recent Public Affairs meeting. Swanson asked the council for their views on how many pets Two Harbors residents would be allowed to own. Swanson said Police Chief Kevin Ruberg told him many residents were not following the current two-pet limit in Two Harbors. “There are way more pets than are licensed,” said Swanson.
Swanson said some had also expressed interest in keeping chickens within city limits. Councilor Seth McDonald, who is also on the Public Affairs committee, said others had also expressed interest in keeping pot-bellied pigs. Both animals, as well as rabbits, are currently on the list of banned pet animals.
“I guess I don’t have a strong opinion either way [on pigs and chickens],” said Mayor Randy Bolen. “But I’m leaning towards no.”
But Bolen said certain exceptions might be made for those who lived more in the country area than in downtown Two Harbors. Councilor Steve Detlefsen disagreed.
After discussing variances and what the next steps might be, the council eventually decided for the public affairs committee to come up with an outline or the basic components of a draft ordinance and have city attorney Steve Overom look it over.
Water meter update
City Administrator Lee Klein informed the council that a meeting took place last Thursday with licensed, bonded, and insured plumbers who wished to be on the list about the water meter installations in Two Harbors.
Klein said the list is compiled for the purpose of letting people in the community know of plumbers who are available. The city is currently distributing water meters to plumbers with clients who want to get the water meter installation process started.
Norberg said residents asked him why non-Two Harbors plumbers are on the list. Klein told him Two Harbors can’t exclude them and that they had attended the meeting which is why they are on the list. “The city can’t steer residents towards a vendor,” he said.
The council is hoping to hand out the list and information in a bill stuffer by March 1. But if residents wish to start on the process now, they can contact their plumber.