Monday, April 22nd, 2024 Church Directory
BECKER RESIDENT DENNIS CARLSON presented an overhead that depicted the financial history of Pebble Creek golf Course from 1998 to 2008. The golf course has had a loss in 17 of its first 21 years.

Sale Of Pebble Creek A Contentious Topic At Meeting

The Becker Golf Task Force — made up of the mayor and four city council members — began their workshop Tuesday explaining their session goals, commenting on the pros and cons from previous scenarios and attempted to throw out one or more of the scenarios to whittle the possibilities down to a more manageable size.

The group could not eliminate any of the scenarios by reaching a consensus.
 
One of the scenarios  garnering the most discussion was the possible sale of the golf course. Mayor Lefty Kleis said he is 100% behind the sale of the golf course to put it back on the tax rolls and end all the time council has to spend debating the enterprise.
 
Council Member Rick Hendrickson said he would be in favor of the sale as well with a deed restriction of 10 years.
 
Chairman Adam Oliver was flummoxed, saying he thought everyone on the task force was in favor of doing everything they could to keep “golf balls flying” at Pebble Creek. Now, he says, with a sale, there is no guarantee the new owner would feel the same way and could at a future time, develop the property rather than keep it a recreational entity.
 
Adam Maskowski from the public said he is also in favor of the city selling the golf course while Dennis Carlson said he was opposed.
 
Carlson provided an overhead that identified Pebble Creek’s financial history from 1988 to 2008. In it, he noted the golf course was losing money for the first 10 years of its existence, then the city hired Jeff Johnson, who turned a profit for the first four years he headed the golf course from 1998 to 2001.
 
Johnson stayed on as golf pro until November of 2005 when he issued his resignation to the city. During his tenure, he saw profits grow early on, then disappear after 2001 when the golf boom was escalating.
 
In 1988 after the golf course opened and with George Shortridge at the helm, Pebble Creek lost $46,499. The losses grew to $54,368 in 1989, then to $122,554 in 1990. When Shortridge’s tenure as golf pro concluded in 1997, the losses were dropping from a high of $264,658 in 1995 to -$39,604 his last year.
 
Jeff Johnson came on board the following year and immediately got the course on the plus side with a profit of $119,235 in 1998. It peaked the following year at $258,108, then declined to $205,358 in 2000 before bottoming out at $88,175 in 2001.
 
By the year 2002, lots of new golf courses around the state started opening and Pebble Creek saw a loss of $177,197 that year.
 
The golf course continued to lose money as area courses competed for business and by the time Malo came on board in 2007, Pebble Creek had a history of losing money 17 out of its first 21 years of existence.
 
Carlson believes Pebble Creek could return to the “profit” days if given the time and Malo given the opportunity to do so.
 
Lori Keller stepped forward and also approved of Malo’s direction and said she was opposed to the sale of the golf course and would rather see the city give full reign of the golf course to Malo to turn things around.
 
Resident Mike Abrahamson also spoke in opposition to the sale of the golf course and suggested council be “shepherds of the asset” instead of letting it go from the control of the city.
 
Oliver said, because the meeting was running so long, the task force would take into consideration the public comments and bring back more plusses and minuses of selling the golf course to the next task force meeting July 17. Oliver said the task force will also attempt to talk about the other scenarios as well.