City spends over $73k on golf course, DGA debt

The Devine City Council amended the budget for $73,202.50 to fund ongoing golf course repairs and pay off outstanding Devine Golf Association debts in a Special meeting held last Tuesday, August 28.
Devine Golf Association debt
DGA debt comprised the bulk of the figure, coming in at $46,573.80. Payment to 20 vendors was past due, in some cases as far back as April.
The biggest single payment was $13,805.28 to John Deere. The DGA entered into a 60-month, $293,986.23 lease agreement with John Deere for various pieces of equipment in May 2018, just two months before informing City Council of the organization’s impending insolvency and requesting that the City take over operation of the golf course.
The $13,805.28 payment, which was for the July, August, and September bills, still leaves a balance of $280, 180.95 on the John Deere lease.
Other big ticket payments included $11,802.51 (June, July, and August bills) to CPL-Direct Energy, and $9,343.95 to Yamaha (June, July, and August) on a 60-month lease for golf carts.
The question of how much, if any, of the DGA’s outstanding debt the City would pay for was left open when Council voted to take over the golf course at a July 31 meeting.
At the August 28 meeting, City Attorney Tom Cate explained that not paying the DGA’s debts could result in liens being placed against the 45 acres that comprises the back nine holes.
“If I was representing someone who had a lease with the golf association and the association broke that lease, I’d be trying to collect my money,” Cate said. “They’ve got 45 acres sitting out there free and clear, so we just can’t walk away from these leases.”
According to Interim City Administrator Dora Rodriguez, Shannon Rackley Rangel of B&S Management Group, who was chosen by the DGA in November 2017 to take over day-to-day management of the golf course in an attempt to save it, will pay $18.14 to TWC and $3,771.01 to the Comptroller’s office out of the DGA’s remaining funds. Any money left in the DGA’s accounts will then be issued to the City to contribute to the rehabilitation and upkeep of the golf course.
A motion made by District 3 Councilman David Espinosa and District 2 Councilman Steve Lopez to pay the DGA’s outstanding bills passed 5-0.
Putting greens
A report delivered by United States Golf Association agronomist John Daniels after a visit to the golf course on August 3 (see separate golf course story) highlighted the poor health of the course’s putting greens, as well as steps to take to remedy the various issues.
Payments up for Council’s approval included $640.00 to Ameriturf for chemicals for the greens; $5,839.74 to Keeling for replacement sprinkler heads; $861.70 to Royce Groff for fuel; and $3,700.00 to the USGA for Daniels’ site visit and report.
A motion by District 5 Councilman Cory Thompson and District 4 Councilwoman Jennifer Schott to pay $11,041.44 passed 5-0.
Ameriturf is still owed an additional $8,990.01, while another $8,842.97 is owed to Keeling.
Additional course work
Other work completed so far includes $1,470.75 to Advanced Locksmith for the rekeying of clubhouse locks and the replacement of a metal door; $7,000 to Eddie Curiel for power washing, prep work, painting, disassembly and removal of furniture, and reconstruction of picnic tables, among other services; $2,724.76 to Floor Decor for tile; $3,250.00 to Gonzales Tile Service for installing tile; and $2,612.50 to Q Technologies for installation of an alarm and cameras.
A motion by District 1 Councilman David Valdez and Schott to pay $15,587.26 passed 5-0.
An additional $3,250.00 is owed to Gonzales Tile Service, while Q Technologies is still owed $2,612.50.
The golf course’s beer license, finances, and greens status were set to be discussed at a Special meeting held on press day on Tuesday, September 4. Information from that meeting will be in next week’s edition of The Devine News.
By Marly Davis
Staff Writer