Metro Council approves increase to golf course greens

Greens fees to increase at local golf courses

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Metro Council approved an ordinance Thursday night to increase greens fees at local golf courses to help save them.

The ordinance allows a hike in greens fees by $5.

Councilwoman Cindi Fowler was the lead sponsor for the bill. She said in the midst of the budget crisis, she felt this was a way to try to keep some things the same and keep courses open.

Fowler said increasing the green fees will raise at least $1 million each year to help with the budget issue.

The ordinance also allows some of the golf courses to close during the winter months.

Councilmembers also added to the ordinance that golf pros will be required to disclose revenue, expenses, and profits for both the clubhouse and the pro shop. Councilmembers said they want to make sure the courses are being transparent.

“To the viewing, the public, the people who are golfing, get out and golf!” Metro Councilman Scott Reed said. “Okay? Use the courses. Let us know that what we're doing here is the right thing to do.”

Council approved the vote 22-1. Councilman Bill Hollander was the only council member to vote no. Hollander is in favor of looking for outside companies to manage the golf courses.

Mayor Greg Fischer’s administration is looking at taking bids from outside companies to manage the courses.

In a statement, Mayor Greg Fischer told WAVE 3 News:

“City golf courses have been collectively losing increasing amounts of money each of the last three years, which cuts into funding for other parks operations. The golf courses also have capital needs to improve their condition of approximately $20 million. Our citizens deserve to know how other cities have found ways to more efficiently operate municipal courses. That’s why we issued an RFP. I appreciate the Council’s passion on this issue but hope their vote tonight will not limit responses to the RFP process. We will add this vote results to the RFP information and see how it plays out. Our goal remains the same - balance the budget and keep our city momentum going.”

The city is accepting outside management proposals until October 15.

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