Members of the Creve Coeur City Council are pondering a report by a consultant who said the city’s golf course could require up to $2.3 million worth of work to bring it up to tip-top shape.
Speaking to councilmembers on Sept. 16, Michael Vogt said that the nine-hole course at 11400 Olde Cabin Road is in generally good condition. But he said it needs work in several areas, particularly the 40-year-old irrigation system and cart paths.
City Administrator Mark Perkins said the city would only spend $2.3 million if it fixes every single problem Vogt mentioned.
“The consultant in his report is providing a best case scenario,” Perkins said. “This will be useful as we plan for future capital improvements on the golf course. It also will be helpful as the city makes future applications for grants.”
A link to Vogt’s full written report is on the Creve Coeur website at www.creve-coeur.org/golfassessment.
Among the needs and costs Vogt mentioned, from now until the end of 2018, were $700,000 for a maintenance facility, $675,000 for cart paths, $480,000 for new irrigation work and $103,800 for other work. His report also states that the course needs $348,000 worth of equipment.
Councilmember Robert Kent (Ward 4) also noted that other upcoming costs might include $900,000 for fixing a dam and pond on the course.
There will be additional costs after 2018, he said, and he suggested the city might want to consider selling the golf course. He noted that Creve Coeur had received a $6 million offer on the course this summer.
Perkins acknowledged that the city had received an unsolicited offer of $6.25 million this summer from Pulte Homes of Chesterfield to buy 28 acres of the 53.8-acre golf course. The city didn’t act on the offer, which expired Aug. 10.
Kent said in a recent email that part of the golf course property and all of the present government center property should be sold for residential development. The city could use the money raised to pay for most of the cost of new municipal and police buildings on the remainder of the golf course property.
But others on the council chafed at Kent’s suggestions.
“The dam and the stormwater issue is not a golf course issue,” said Councilmember Robert Hoffman (Ward 3). He said the city would have to do the work no matter what happens to the course.
“When you couch issues in a certain way, you give an impression that is a little misleading,” said Councilmember Cynthia Kramer (Ward 1). “We shouldn’t present such bias.”
Areas Vogt said are in need of improvement include safety issues, sand bunkers, tees and greens. He told the council that it’s hard to get a company to manage a nine-hole course and that it’s difficult to make money on such a course. He also said that management companies tend to run down a course’s assets. However, he said he would be able to help the city with a marketing plan to make the course more profitable.