Oxford OKs more than $500,000 on new golf course and park equipment

28 December 2016

Officials on Tuesday committed to spend more than $500,000 over the next five years on new equipment at the city’s golf course and sports complex.

The City Council approved two leasing contracts Tuesday, both to outfit Honours Golf with the new equipment. The Birmingham-based company oversees the city’s Cider Ridge golf course, and also maintains Choccolocco Park’s fields and green spaces.

For $67,486 each year over the next five years, the first city contract leases new, heavy-duty mowers and tractors for the company to be used at both the golf course and the park.

Oxford will keep that equipment at the end of the 60-month lease, city officials heard during a work session before the council’s formal meeting.

The second contract will replace all 64 of Cider Ridge Golf Club’s current golf cart fleet, spending $59,159 each year. The city will not own the carts outright after the 42-month lease ends, officials heard.

The council’s members met the proposal — brought by course superintendent Chad Robinson and golf director Doug Wert — with approval. They voted unanimously to spend the extra money, a total of $544,488.

Robinson at a work session earlier in December called the leasing agreements “the most economical option” to replace the company’s equipment, which will be especially needed at Choccolocco Park, he said.

Councilman Mike Henderson on Tuesday asked several questions about whether the city would need to again buy more golf carts at the end of the new lease.

The carts can be returned, Wert told Henderson, with the city reimbursed some of the money it will spend.

Henderson said after the meeting that the golf course’s operation is “always a concern” to him. While Honours Golf has “done a great job” managing the course since 2010, Henderson said he worries that the city may never recoup the money it spends there.

“Historically, municipal golf courses do not make money,” Henderson said, though he noted the city may see other economic benefits from the course’s operation.

In other business, the council:

— Agreed to seek tax deeds to 21 different properties throughout the city, paying $100 each to the Alabama Department of Revenue for the deeds. Obtaining those deeds to properties officials characterized as neglected will allow the city to clean them of unsafe or derelict houses and overgrown yards. The deeds also provide a legal path for the city to eventually obtain full title to the properties, city attorney Ron Allen said.

— Approved a $4,480 contract for emergency generator maintenance with TAW Power Systems, a Tampa-based company with offices in Pelham. The company will provide one annual inspection of each of the emergency generators at seven municipal buildings, Council President Chris Spurlin said.