MODESTO — Modestos two 18-hole golf courses should be under new management starting next week, in the citys latest effort to get its golf fund out of the rough.
The City Council voted 7-0 on Tuesday for City Manager Greg Nyhoff to execute the paperwork needed for Modesto to enter into a two-year agreement with Kemper Sports starting Oct. 14. Kemper Sports manages more than 100 golf courses across the United States.
Kemper will replace FM Golf in managing the Creekside and Dryden golf courses. FM has managed the courses since July 1, 2012, but the city notified FM in April that it would cancel the contract in October.
Modesto hoped that with FM Golf overseeing the two courses the city could limit its general fund subsidy of the golf fund to $250,000 per year. But city officials say the subsidy was $564,717 for the budget year that ended June 30.
Sue Fiscoe, the citys longtime golf pro, operates FM Golf. She declined to comment.
City officials say golf play and revenue are down, which has resulted in more general fund support in recent years.
The citys third course the nine-hole Modesto Municipal Golf Course is managed by the youth golf nonprofit The First Tee and the Del Rio Foundation.
The new deal involves Valley Crest, the company that performs maintenance at the citys three golf courses.
Valley Crest not the city will pay Kemper Sports management fee over the two years. Valley Crest also is reducing the roughly $1.6 million it charges the city each year by $50,000. Modesto is extending Valley Crests contract to October 2015.
Greg Pieschala Valley Crests president of golf course maintenance declined to say in an email what his company will pay Kemper Sports. He wrote that Valley Crest will continue to provide the same level of maintenance at the three courses.
We understand the challenges facing Modesto golf at this time, he wrote, and believe that a responsible partner needs to pitch in during a time of need.
In other action, the council:
• Listened to several residents criticize the city for not promptly releasing copies of a consultants survey that gauged voters support for a tax increase. The city has placed Measure X a one-cent sales tax on the November ballot. The residents also questioned the appropriateness of the Measure X campaign hiring the same consultant the city used. The campaign is primarily funded by the citys police and fire unions.
• Met in closed session to discuss the hiring of an interim city attorney. City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood is resigning next month to become Stocktons assistant city attorney.
Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2316.