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City Purchases Lakefront Property

By Staff | Aug 5, 2008

GOLF COURSE Clubhouse (pictured above) and adjacent property will come under ownership of the City of Emmetsburg, effective Nov. 1.

Public access to additional shoreline of Five Island Lake will be the biggest payoff of a recent city purchase. Emmetsburg City Council has approved purchase of the clubhouse at Wild Rose Golf Club.

Negotiations to purchase the club house and adjoining property began less than a month ago and culminated at Emmetsburg City Council’s meeting last Monday.

“We actually instigated negotiations,” said City Administrator John Bird. “When K & R Properties (Gary Kirke and Mike Richards) began divesting other property they own in town, we contacted them and requested if they were considering selling the golf course clubhouse that the city be given the first right of refusal.”

On recommendation of the city’s Public Properties, Health, Facilities and Equipment Committee, Emmetsburg City Council voted at their July 14 meeting to make an offer to purchase Wild Rose Golf Course Clubhouse. The committee deemed the property well worth the investment with the area becoming public ground.

Currently, the clubhouse and adjoining property to the south are privately owned. The public golf course is situated on state park property and leased to the city by the state.

“We’re excited about making the transition,” said Tom Timmons, Vice President of Operations for Wild Rose. “We’re in the business of running casinos and not golf courses.”

Timmons added, “It’s a good asset for the city of Emmetsburg and we’re glad the city could take it over. Two years ago the country club board came to Mike (Richards) and Gary (Kirke) to help them out. Now there is the opportunity for the city to take control. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Wild Rose had initially offered the property for sale at a price of $350,000. Emmetsburg City Council made an initial offer of $226,229.40 to K & R Properties for the purchase of the Wild Rose Golf Course Clubhouse. A counter offer of $288,000 came from K & R Properties with the condition that the city take over ownership as soon as possible. The city’s counter offer of $265,000 with a transfer date of Nov. 1, 2008, was accepted. Emmetsburg City Attorney Brian Thul is working with Wild Rose attorneys to finalize the transaction.

Discussions on whether or not to purchase the clubhouse and adjacent property centered on how the city would fund the purchase.

“We can do this without borrowing money and without using property tax dollars,” Bird informed the council. “We would be using city money, but we would not be using property tax dollars.”

Bird explained that when the city was preparing its budget, taxable valuation of Wild Rose was in dispute and the city used the low valuation, thus creating a fund reserve when the valuation came in higher. He outlined funds available in the Wild Rose Fund, Hotel/Motel Fund and Local Option Sales Tax/Community Betterment Fund. To use these funds, the current budget must be amended.

Discussion then turned to setting up a municipal board.

“This would probably be more than the Parks and Recreation Board can handle,” Bird told the council. “There are a lot of things that need to be discussed. We just need to find the right mix of people in the community.”

Council representatives discussed parks, recreation and golf, whether the new board should be a subcommittee of the park board, whether the golf course manager could manage some recreation duties, and other issues. A meeting of the city’s public properties committee and the parks board was set up.

Council members also discussed whether the clubhouse should be renovated or replaced. No decisions were made.

In his brief to the council, Mayor John Schad said, “As mayor, I want to be on record as in favor of bringing the clubhouse and surrounding property into the hands of the city. However, I would oppose any concept of a ‘business as usual country club,’ offering only golf to the chosen few… We need to step back and think about the best way to use it.”

City Purchases Lakefront Property

By Staff | Aug 5, 2008

GOLF COURSE Clubhouse (pictured above) and adjacent property will come under ownership of the City of Emmetsburg, effective Nov. 1.

Public access to additional shoreline of Five Island Lake will be the biggest payoff of a recent city purchase. Emmetsburg City Council has approved purchase of the clubhouse at Wild Rose Golf Club.

Negotiations to purchase the club house and adjoining property began less than a month ago and culminated at Emmetsburg City Council’s meeting last Monday.

“We actually instigated negotiations,” said City Administrator John Bird. “When K & R Properties (Gary Kirke and Mike Richards) began divesting other property they own in town, we contacted them and requested if they were considering selling the golf course clubhouse that the city be given the first right of refusal.”

On recommendation of the city’s Public Properties, Health, Facilities and Equipment Committee, Emmetsburg City Council voted at their July 14 meeting to make an offer to purchase Wild Rose Golf Course Clubhouse. The committee deemed the property well worth the investment with the area becoming public ground.

Currently, the clubhouse and adjoining property to the south are privately owned. The public golf course is situated on state park property and leased to the city by the state.

“We’re excited about making the transition,” said Tom Timmons, Vice President of Operations for Wild Rose. “We’re in the business of running casinos and not golf courses.”

Timmons added, “It’s a good asset for the city of Emmetsburg and we’re glad the city could take it over. Two years ago the country club board came to Mike (Richards) and Gary (Kirke) to help them out. Now there is the opportunity for the city to take control. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Wild Rose had initially offered the property for sale at a price of $350,000. Emmetsburg City Council made an initial offer of $226,229.40 to K & R Properties for the purchase of the Wild Rose Golf Course Clubhouse. A counter offer of $288,000 came from K & R Properties with the condition that the city take over ownership as soon as possible. The city’s counter offer of $265,000 with a transfer date of Nov. 1, 2008, was accepted. Emmetsburg City Attorney Brian Thul is working with Wild Rose attorneys to finalize the transaction.

Discussions on whether or not to purchase the clubhouse and adjacent property centered on how the city would fund the purchase.

“We can do this without borrowing money and without using property tax dollars,” Bird informed the council. “We would be using city money, but we would not be using property tax dollars.”

Bird explained that when the city was preparing its budget, taxable valuation of Wild Rose was in dispute and the city used the low valuation, thus creating a fund reserve when the valuation came in higher. He outlined funds available in the Wild Rose Fund, Hotel/Motel Fund and Local Option Sales Tax/Community Betterment Fund. To use these funds, the current budget must be amended.

Discussion then turned to setting up a municipal board.

“This would probably be more than the Parks and Recreation Board can handle,” Bird told the council. “There are a lot of things that need to be discussed. We just need to find the right mix of people in the community.”

Council representatives discussed parks, recreation and golf, whether the new board should be a subcommittee of the park board, whether the golf course manager could manage some recreation duties, and other issues. A meeting of the city’s public properties committee and the parks board was set up.

Council members also discussed whether the clubhouse should be renovated or replaced. No decisions were made.

In his brief to the council, Mayor John Schad said, “As mayor, I want to be on record as in favor of bringing the clubhouse and surrounding property into the hands of the city. However, I would oppose any concept of a ‘business as usual country club,’ offering only golf to the chosen few… We need to step back and think about the best way to use it.”

City Purchases Lakefront Property

By Staff | Aug 5, 2008

GOLF COURSE Clubhouse (pictured above) and adjacent property will come under ownership of the City of Emmetsburg, effective Nov. 1.

Public access to additional shoreline of Five Island Lake will be the biggest payoff of a recent city purchase. Emmetsburg City Council has approved purchase of the clubhouse at Wild Rose Golf Club.

Negotiations to purchase the club house and adjoining property began less than a month ago and culminated at Emmetsburg City Council’s meeting last Monday.

“We actually instigated negotiations,” said City Administrator John Bird. “When K & R Properties (Gary Kirke and Mike Richards) began divesting other property they own in town, we contacted them and requested if they were considering selling the golf course clubhouse that the city be given the first right of refusal.”

On recommendation of the city’s Public Properties, Health, Facilities and Equipment Committee, Emmetsburg City Council voted at their July 14 meeting to make an offer to purchase Wild Rose Golf Course Clubhouse. The committee deemed the property well worth the investment with the area becoming public ground.

Currently, the clubhouse and adjoining property to the south are privately owned. The public golf course is situated on state park property and leased to the city by the state.

“We’re excited about making the transition,” said Tom Timmons, Vice President of Operations for Wild Rose. “We’re in the business of running casinos and not golf courses.”

Timmons added, “It’s a good asset for the city of Emmetsburg and we’re glad the city could take it over. Two years ago the country club board came to Mike (Richards) and Gary (Kirke) to help them out. Now there is the opportunity for the city to take control. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Wild Rose had initially offered the property for sale at a price of $350,000. Emmetsburg City Council made an initial offer of $226,229.40 to K & R Properties for the purchase of the Wild Rose Golf Course Clubhouse. A counter offer of $288,000 came from K & R Properties with the condition that the city take over ownership as soon as possible. The city’s counter offer of $265,000 with a transfer date of Nov. 1, 2008, was accepted. Emmetsburg City Attorney Brian Thul is working with Wild Rose attorneys to finalize the transaction.

Discussions on whether or not to purchase the clubhouse and adjacent property centered on how the city would fund the purchase.

“We can do this without borrowing money and without using property tax dollars,” Bird informed the council. “We would be using city money, but we would not be using property tax dollars.”

Bird explained that when the city was preparing its budget, taxable valuation of Wild Rose was in dispute and the city used the low valuation, thus creating a fund reserve when the valuation came in higher. He outlined funds available in the Wild Rose Fund, Hotel/Motel Fund and Local Option Sales Tax/Community Betterment Fund. To use these funds, the current budget must be amended.

Discussion then turned to setting up a municipal board.

“This would probably be more than the Parks and Recreation Board can handle,” Bird told the council. “There are a lot of things that need to be discussed. We just need to find the right mix of people in the community.”

Council representatives discussed parks, recreation and golf, whether the new board should be a subcommittee of the park board, whether the golf course manager could manage some recreation duties, and other issues. A meeting of the city’s public properties committee and the parks board was set up.

Council members also discussed whether the clubhouse should be renovated or replaced. No decisions were made.

In his brief to the council, Mayor John Schad said, “As mayor, I want to be on record as in favor of bringing the clubhouse and surrounding property into the hands of the city. However, I would oppose any concept of a ‘business as usual country club,’ offering only golf to the chosen few… We need to step back and think about the best way to use it.”