After seeking proposals from private entities to manage the Shiloh Springs Golf Course, Platte County has received four responses, including one firm offer to purchase.
The county-owned Shiloh Springs Golf Course has not been paying for itself year to year, so proposals were sought from private firms to manage the course and perhaps to eventually buy it.
“Each of the responders believes they can save the county money by increasing revenues at the golf course,” Brian Nowotny, director of the Platte County Parks and Recreation Department, said in an interview Friday.
“The goal for the county is to eliminate the operational subsidy on the course.”
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He spoke to The Star after a meeting Friday between the commission and each of the responders, held to discuss the details of the proposals.
One proposal from Gary Martin contained a firm offer of $1.2 million with property tax abatement from the county, if Martin can turn the operation into a non-profit, according to a county document.
Another responder, Story Golf Partners, has proposed a management and consulting agreement to include a purchase option after three years, according to a county document. The company did not name a purchase price.
Story Golf Partners wants a “hybrid management and consulting contract” arrangement for which it would receive $36,000 annually plus pro shop and profit sharing as a fee for their efforts, the document states.
Two other companies are offering to manage the course.
Nowotny said each responder believes it will take at least a few years to eliminate the subsidy. The county did not receive a guarantee from any of them that the operational subsidy could be eliminated.
In 2011, the course operating expenses were $89,928 more than the revenues, according to the Request For Proposal. These losses increased steadily since then and in 2014 through November, the course had lost $128,856.
The county built the 18-hole course, which opened in 1995, as a recreational facility for the public.
Nowotny said this year the county has the option of using park sales tax revenue to pay off the remaining $1.3 million debt on the bond money that financed construction of the course. Until the debt is paid off, terms of the bond issue require the county to manage the course with its own employees.
Martin has proposed that he act as a management consultant the first year for a fee of $1 — with the fee for the following three years to be negotiated — after which he would purchase the course, Nowotny said. During the management phase, county-employed management would supervise the day-to-day operations.
He said Martin is also willing to purchase the course after the first year, if the county agrees.
The other two companies, Orion Management and KemperSports Management, have proposed management contracts, according to the document.
Orion Management is asking to be paid a fee of $54,000 annually on average over a three-year period, plus 10 percent of the net operating income increase, according to the document.
KemperSports proposes a $72,000 annual fee, plus 10 percent of the net operating income increase, according to the document.
Additionally, Orion Management proposes taking responsibility for course maintenance under the agreement, according to the document.
“The 2015 county budget for Shiloh Springs includes a transfer of $199,000 from the Parks Fund, of which $50,000 is estimated to be allocated towards capital improvements,” Nowotny said, adding none of the proposals include any capital improvement costs.
No date has been set for the commission to make a decision.