April 24, 2024

Golf Course Management Commission amendment passes first reading.

A public hearing was held at the Feb. 6 Osceola city council meeting pertaining to the folding of the golf course management commission back into the parks and recreation board.

The first reading of the proposed amendment was passed 5-0.

As previously reported, the golf course commission was formed when the Osceola Country Club changed from private hands to public, and was renamed to the Osceola Municipal Golf Course.

The commission was enacted under a five-year bylaw, working separately from the Osceola Parks and Recreation board. The commission’s role was “to advise the City Council on matters pertaining to the administration and control of the City’s golf course, clubhouse, equipment, personnel, and related facilities.” (Chapter 29, section 1 of the Osceola Code of Ordinances)

“They’ve done a fantastic job getting the golf course renovated, acquiring grants, and the golf course is up and running, and the green is probably one of the most used parks in the city,” said Osceola Mayor Thomas Kedley at the public hearing.

Due to the commission’s successes, the aim is now to fold the golf course commission back into the parks and rec board. A proposed ordinance amendment will be made to subsection .02 of chapter 24 of the Osceola Code of Ordinances to state that the parks and rec board shall serve as the golf course management commission. That way, should the golf course need a separate commission again in the future, only an amendment would need to be made to that subsection as opposed to recreating an entire ordinance chapter. If the amendment passes, the parks and rec board would then have precedence over commission members.

Kedley had spoken with commission members of both the golf course and parks and rec, and said only one golf course commission member expressed hesitation about the merging of the two boards. Kedley told the council that there are a couple of park board members who would like to take the opportunity to step down, and that he has talked with golf commission members who might be interested in going the park board, which will keep a full board.

Councilman Dr. George Fotiadis asked how the finances were at the golf course, and Osceola city administrator Ty Wheeler said it breaks even with operations going well, but it would see some struggle if not for the contributions for repairs and large maintenance projects from the Clarke County Development Corporation.

“When it comes to HVAC needing repaired and tee boxes…that’s absolutely dependent on the Development Corporation,” said Wheeler.

There were no public comments at the hearing. After closing the public hearing, the council voted on the first reading; there will be two more readings at future meetings.

Candra Brooks

A native of rural Union County, Candra holds a Bachelor's Degree in English from Simpson College and an Associate's Degree in Accounting from SWCC. She has been at the Osceola newspaper since October 2013, working as office manager before transitioning to the newsroom in spring 2022.