CITY COUNCIL SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES
COUNCIL CHAMBERS – CITY HALL
1000 CITY CENTER CIRCLE
MARCH 4, 2014
THE CITY COUNCIL SPECIAL MEETING of the City of Port Orange was called to order by Mayor Allen Green at 5:15 p.m.
Pledge of Allegiance
Roll Call: Present: Councilman Bob Ford (arrived at 5:24 p.m.)
Councilman Drew Bastian
Councilman Dennis Kennedy
Vice Mayor Donald Burnette
Mayor Allen Green
Also Present: Greg Kisela, City Manager
Margaret T. Roberts, City Attorney
Robin Fenwick, City Clerk
4. Cypress Head Golf Course Renovations
a. Renovations Plans – Preliminary Information dated January 28, 2014
Mr. Kisela provided background details relating to the plans to renovate the Cypress Head Golf Course. There are no plans or drawings yet. Staff and KemperSports are looking for direction from Council. The golf course has had their ups and downs over the years but usually is able to pay their debt service payments. The greens, traps, and tee boxes need repairs. No monies have been spent on renovations yet. Major investments are needed in this facility if the City is going to continue in the business.
Councilman Ford arrived at 5:24 p.m.
Mayor Green discussed the option of closing only nine holes at a time for renovations so that the course is not completely closed.
Councilman Ford wouldn’t recommend going into the golf course business but since the City is already in it renovations need to occur. He believes the clubhouse can provide growth for the course if renovated. He doesn’t support abandoning the golf course. He urged Council to consider renovating the clubhouse.
Vice Mayor Burnette believes the golf course is a community asset and would like to see it break even. He agreed with Councilman Ford relating to the clubhouse. He would like to discuss how the renovations should be done, whether as a whole or not.
Councilman Bastian asked how the kitchen will be expanded. Mayor Green said adding square footage to the west.
Councilman Kennedy said the restaurant is not a destination. There are no special items and is tucked back in the subdivision. He supports renovations to the golf course and would like to talk about how to proceed.
Mayor Green disagreed that it can’t be a destination. He believes the restaurant should remain open during renovations to continue to generate revenue.
Ricardo Catarina, Regional Director of Operations with KemperSports, said the recommended way to renovate greens is to shut it down and redo the whole course at once because of mobilization costs. An updated costs sheet was provided to Council.
Mike Collins, General Manager of Cypress Head, said there wouldn’t be much of an impact with closing the restaurant down for renovations. Their biggest revenue is from lunch with golfers. They hope to grow the banquet service.
Mayor Green said the bar placement is difficult because the noise travels to the dining area.
Corey Berman, citizen, suggested having sponsorships for the holes to assist in the monies for the renovations. He supported the phased approach and expansion of the kitchen.
Ted Noftall, citizen, recommended exploring the sale of the golf course. He suggested having an outside restaurant lease the clubhouse instead of KemperSports running it. Mr. Noftall asked if the numbers previously provided by Finance regarding the golf course accounts were inaccurate. Wayne Saunders, Finance Director, explained the difference in the ending balance as of September 27, 2012 vs. September 30, 2013. Transfers to the Water/Sewer fund were made prior to the transfer from the golf course. The golf course didn’t make some payments; therefore, the transfers were reversed. Mr. Noftall asked for a complete analysis of the adjustment. Mr. Kisela will provide information showing how and when the adjustment was made. He is not comfortable continuing the past practice.
Mayor Green agreed that the golf course is an asset for the community.
Councilman Kennedy supports investing in the golf course.
Councilman Bastian asked if selling the golf course would put it back on the tax roll. Mr. Kisela said yes. It could be a privately owned private course or a privately owned public course.
Vice Mayor Burnette agreed to look at all options but supports keeping the course as an asset for the city. He likes that the City has control of the course to make sure it stays nice. He suggested looking into a surcharge per golfer for the renovations.
Mr. Kisela said the $250,000 proposed plan is for renovations not expansion.
Councilman Ford said the market is saturated with golf courses. He would rather do the clubhouse/kitchen right even if that means spending half a million dollars. He believes breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be necessary to support the expansion and renovations.
Mr. Catarina said the discussion tonight was to get direction from Council. Mr. Kisela said he understands that Council wants to see a scope relating to more improvements to the kitchen. He asked for direction relating to closing nine holes vs. 18 holes. The professionals recommend closing all 18 at the same time. Mayor Green asked for a comparison of the numbers.
ADJOURNMENT: 6:17 p.m.
Mayor Allen Green
Robin Fenwick, CMC