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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Up is down, Down is up

That describes the City of Gainesville and the Irownwood golf course it owns.

Ironwood Golf Course, which the city has owned since the early 1990s, has continuously failed to bring in enough money to cover the costs of its operations. Though the city recently lowered fees to play at the course, attendance at Ironwood is still not increasing enough to break even.

Gainesville city commissioners are looking into cutting costs at the course, which is expected to need about $124,000 from Gainesville's general fund next year to cover its operating expenses.

The golf course cost the city about $377,000 in the last two years, according to the city's finance department.

Several years ago, the city scaled down the restaurant at the golf course in a cost-cutting move and city officials say the solution now is to attract more customers rather than continue trimming expenditures.

"It's a great golf course," City Manager Russ Blackburn said last month. "We believe we've cut costs as much as we can and still run a high-quality golf course."
Standard Boilerplate government response 101. Government is inherently wasteful, for its not driven by the market. I'm sure more costs could be cut.

Part of the challenge, for both Ironwood and the garage, is getting relatively new ventures on their feet, Blackburn said. Marketing campaigns and new types of events at the course could help make up for some of the loss, he said.

A city committee responsible for parks, recreation and cultural affairs has been assigned to look at the issue, though no recommendations have been made yet. The commission has also decided to look to public courses in other cities compare how public courses in other cities are faring.

Commissioner Ed Braddy said it is important to improve Ironwood's finances, but also noted the course provides a recreational benefit to city residents and offers events for low-income residents.

"I'm not content with where that's at and I'm continuing to push forward to make it break even," Braddy said. "But it is a recreational activity. We don't expect our swimming pool to make money, we don't expect our 'tot lots' to produce revenue."
First they cut fees, that didn't work, now they look at increasing them. I have a better solution(Selling the course would be the best way to end the money drain for Gainesville)- Outsource the running of the course. I make a bet a private company could turn a profit and still have a inexpensive muni course for the people of Gainesville to play.

Of ourse that would take a different mindset than shown above by the city of Gainesville. Do politicians and bureaucrats ever learn?

Linked to- Bright & Early, Third World County,

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