Decision on Management of Cedar Creek by Council

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Dec. 11—OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa City Council is expected to determine the next operator of Cedar Creek Golf Course during a special meeting Tuesday at Bridge View Center.

Three different entities will be offering presentations and their vision for the city-owned public golf course on the north side of Ottumwa. Two of the entities are local — DTech Enterprises headed by Doug Techel, and A.A.W Golf Group LLC, fronted by Adam Wilson — while a third, Maxim Golf Solutions LLC, is based out of Hartsburg, Missouri.

The city opened up a request for proposal in October for a new operator when an agenda item to extend a current agreement from the retiring Greg Wilson to his son, Adam, failed in a tie vote.

Techel is a longtime Ottumwa resident and owned Champion Bowl from 1998-2018 before selling it for a profit. In his executive summary to run the golf course, he planned to spend $9,000 on a marketing plan to make the course “the crown jewel of Ottumwa.”

He also figured to have four full-time employees and 19 part-time employees, while also making the course more attractive in spots, particularly on the 15th and 17th holes. Techel also said currently employees at the course have expressed interest in staying on if he is awarded the contract.

As part of the lease with the city, Techel said he would pay the city $31,250 per year, split evenly in May and August. He also laid out a schedule of specific capital improvements for the course through 2027, which would cost roughly $57,500, not including the yearly maintenance to the course.

Wilson, who has been a professional at the course for 15 years and the head professional for the last 10, said he will be hiring a second professional, administrative assistant, food and beverage manager and golf course superintendent, among other positions. He also stated on Jan. 1, when the contract would begin, he will have 60 golf carts, mowing and maintenance equipment and the proper equipment for food and beverages.

Wilson also said the course will remain open most of the year under his leadership, with the only times of closing are when the course is snow-covered, too wet or too cold. Wilson added that the pro shop would be stocked fewer items, but also the most popular products, such as golf balls, tees and other items.

Wilson recommended $16,000 per year as a lease to the city, but another $8,000 per year for capital improvements each year. In his estimation, the city would have about $120,000 at the end of the lease for capital improvements to the course.

Some of Wilson’s proposed capital improvements include replacing a 33-year-old HVAC system, a concrete parking lot, improvements to the men’s locker room and a new main entrance on the north side of the clubhouse.

Maxim currently had management contracts with 12 golf courses in four states, and the Cedar Creek course would be its first foray into Iowa. The company is proposing a $5,000 lease payment annually, with an annual increase of $1,000, but not exceeding $12,000 per year.

The company, unlike the other two candidates, offered up the name of its potential club pro — Darin Fisher of The Preserve on Lake Rathbun, who also would have several of his staff moving to Cedar Creek.

Maxim emphasized a need for stay-and-play packages, especially targeted for patrons in colder climates to golf later in the year. The company would host golf outings that were “previously held elsewhere.” Maxim also offered expanding Cedar Creek’s current season passes to be good for the company’s other properties, which are in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Utah.

The company wants to have an event scoreboard, a secondary driving drive as well as pond beautification as part of its potential capital improvement plan.

The meeting begins at 5 p.m.

Wapello County Board of Supervisors

The supervisors will meet Tuesday at the courthouse to approve the final reading of an ordinance of assessment for the Dusty Fox Wind project.

They also will receive a presentation of the annual report for Wapello County Conservation and the American Gothic house, and will approve the grant funding the sheriff’s office received for two new deputies through a federal program.

The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. in the third-floor courtroom/board room.

— Chad Drury can be reached at cdrury@ottumwacourier.com, and on Twitter @ChadDrury

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