Last week’s headline about the City of Devine/ Devine Golf Course should have read $.5 million, the decimal error was in composition. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused. However, the numbers presented in the story/chart last week were correct, and as reported at the city meeting.
As to how much has been spent overall, what we know is that about $2.6 million has been spent or debt incurred on the Devine Golf Course in just the past 3 years with taxpayer money. The course was built 53 years ago. The city will start making payments beginning this August on the almost half million dollar note ($489,891.14) taken out to renovate the clubhouse/restaurant, which is nearing completion this summer as well as hopefully the arrival of kitchen equipment and signs.
Currently, the city receives no income in return for their investments in the repair and revival of the golf course and clubhouse renovation. All income, according to the contract belongs to the contractor, SG Golf. In return for the use of public assets and funds, the contractor is to provide all services and the financial documents as promised in the contract, which ensures government transparency.
The management company has free use of the city golf course, clubhouse, restaurant, the equipment, assets (and the $553,112 in public funds given to them so far during the clubhouse completion process) to make a living and make it work.
Golfers are very happy with the course and management. Citizens get a beautiful and restored course, nice clubhouse, entertainment venue and new restaurant to patronize. The taxpayers get the loan. In theory, it is supposed to save the city money in the long run.
Now up for discussion is possibly an election to decide — do the taxpayers want to sell the golf course? It is supposed to be discussed again at the July meeting, as well as if they will amend the contract, how and why. SG Golf Management requested at the last meeting that the city amend the contract so they don’t have to show their financial statements publicly.