Jul 28, 2014

City Council Approves Budget for Camp Dearborn Golf Course

The course is expected to break even for fiscal year 2013, which ends June 30.

City Council Approves Budget for Camp Dearborn Golf Course

A revenue and expenditure budget for the Mystic Creek Golf Club at Camp Dearborn—which was repossessed by the City of Dearborn in late 2012—was approved by Dearborn City Council Tuesday.

It's expected that the golf course will come close to breaking even for fiscal year 2013, which ends June 30. Revenues and expenditures for the course are expected at just under $700,000 each.

City officials agreed in October to begin the process to repossess the golf course and banquet center, which has been run by a private company that effectively stopped paying its lease.

The city made a deal with owner Jim Dewling and his company, Total Golf, to buy the property and all assets for $900,000—minus anything Dewling owes on the property, including back taxes and back rent. The final amount, according to Recreation Department Director Greg Orner, came out to $771,000 paid by the city.

The city officially closed on the deal with Dewling on Dec. 16, but had been operating the course since Nov. 1 on a temporary budget of $261,000.

Based on its estimates, Orner explained, the Recreation Department requested an additional $425,650 to fund the course for the rest of the fiscal year.

That total—$686,650 in expenditures—is matched against an expected revenue of $694,500 through June 30.

Orner said the estimates are "conservative," given that his department is still attempting to formulate a solid grasp of the course's buget. As of mid-January, the course had generated $6,000 in revenue over expenditures—and could continue to outperform expectations.

But councilmembers were clear Tuesday in their expectations that a forthcoming business plan for the golf course would help ensure that it does not become a drain on city dollars.

"I'm very cautious not to see general fund dollars going to this," Councilman David Bazzy commented, adding that he hoped Orner's team could come up with a plan that would "give some concrete, realistic numbers to this."

Mayor Jack O'Reilly assured that a more solid business plan would be coming shortly.

"The data we have is the best we could get," O'Reilly said. "We’ll present what we have; we’ll show you the business plan and what we’re doing."

Orner said it's unclear what will happen to the course long term. Now that the city owns the property, the options include continuing to run the course, putting it out to bid to another management company, or using the property to expand Camp Dearborn.

Dewling and Total Golf had been 17 years into a 52-year lease when the agreement was terminated.

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