(Neb)-Committee To Consider Options For Legend Buttes
By Kerri Rempp, Chadron Record Editor
CRAWFORD - No decisions were made on how to resolve financial difficulties at Crawford's city-owned Legend Buttes Golf Course during a recent joint meeting of the Crawford City Council and the golf board.
Mayor Dave Nixon described the meeting as an "austerity" meeting and told those gathered April 4 that the city and the golf board have to find a way to bring expenses and revenues into balance.
"At some point we have to not let it damage us anymore," Nixon said, adding that it's difficult to know exactly what must be accomplished because the city's records are "shaky" in terms of what it costs to run the course.
Mike Vogl disputed that allegation, however, noting that the golf board has financial statements readily available from the last four years. The Legend Buttes Course, which averages about 70 members, averages $180,000-190,000 in expenses each year. Revenues range from $190,000-200,000, he said.
"The cash flow is negative because (the clubhouse loan) was being paid off so fast," Vogl continued. "(The city) was paying off a debt very aggressively."
The golf board suggested to a previous city council that it refinance the clubhouse loan, but the council rejected the idea. Without that loan, the course is paying for itself, Vogl noted.
"It still could be refinanced to allow the golf course to sustain itself," he added.
The city's auditor recommended against refinancing the loan because the city could lose out on the low interest rates it currently has, but golf board member Zane Limbach said while interest rates are one thing to consider, cash flow is just as important.
"I certainly think we need to look at it," said council member Larry Olson.
Both entities will appoint two members to a joint committee to consider the city's options, including how to reduce expenses, increase revenues and investigate refinancing the clubhouse loan.
"I think it takes an approach on all fronts," said golf board member John Skavdahl.
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