Work is beginning on gathering information to determine if and how Lake County might assist the Mount Massive Golf Course moving forward.
Following a work session Tuesday afternoon between the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, the Mount Massive Golf Course Board of Directors and Craig Stuller, golf course manager, Commissioner Kayla Marcella outlined five next steps.
The first relates to the water used for irrigation. Some comes from the county and some is obtained through various means. Stuller said several members donate shares of Twin Lakes water. Other water is obtained through a bidding process. Stuller said the amount of water needed can vary from 15 to 45 acre-feet per season.
Marcella said they need to look at the budget for water and the payment made to the county.
Second is insurance. The golf course is now being used for Nordic skiing in the winter, creating a problem with the golf course’s insurer, according to Stuller. Because skiing is taking place, the golf course is losing its insurance. Stuller said the course will always be able to obtain insurance from another company, but using the course for skiing is proving problematic when it comes to insurance.
On the other hand, the idea behind hosting skiing is to make the golf course a year-around attraction.
Third is the loan that the board obtained to build an irrigation system for the course. Since 2012 the loan has been held by two private individuals, with the golf course land as collateral. Jim Morrison, a member of the golf course board, said that the monthly payments are being made, but some assistance with these payments by the county would be helpful.
Board members spoke of repairs that are needed to the golf course clubhouse. These include a new heating system, new carpeting and window replacement.
Marcella asked the board to get better estimates on what repairs will cost and prioritize them as to need.
Commissioner Sarah Mudge pointed out that repairs to the clubhouse won’t directly increase the golf course revenue.
Finally Marcella asked for a reading on the status of the infrastructure, namely the irrigation system, to determine if and when repairs are needed.
Morrison told the BOCC that while the golf course is not close to closure, revenue has been flat for the last four years while expenses have increased. He suggested that the facility needs to develop a strategic plan, but there is not money to hire someone to facilitate such a plan.
Currently the golf course is a private facility, which limits the involvement that the county can offer. For example, the county couldn’t insure a private facility.
One future possibility is the county taking over the golf course as a recreational facility.
On Wednesday, Jan. 15, the Mount Massive board was to have a membership meeting where it planned to gather more information and listen to concerns.
On March 4, the BOCC will meet again with Stuller and the golf course board to continue the conversation,