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Golf course buy unexpected

Sat., Aug. 28, 2010

Deer Park city officials say the decision to pay more than $1 million for a golf course this week won’t affect services to residents.

The city purchased the Deer Park Golf Club during a public auction Thursday. The 150-acre course was among several dozen parcels that were owned and being auctioned by Warren Developments.

Deer Park Mayor Robert Whisman said the City Council authorized paying up to $1 million for the 18-hole public course. “We never expected to get it at that price,” Whisman said, noting people told him the course would sell for at least $3 million.

The city paid $850,000 for the course. Another $210,000 will pay for 60 golf carts, mowers, tools, building fixtures and seller’s fees, Whisman said.

The city will not borrow money to complete the purchase. Deer Park’s finances are solid and the deal will have no impact on municipal services, Whisman said on Friday.

“We’ll scale back some projects so we can make this work,” he said.

One example would be plans for a new parking lot and a new restroom at Deer Park’s Mix Park.

Instead of planning on $100,000 for park improvements in next year’s budget, Whisman said the city will spend roughly half that, stretching out the upgrade.

The city will not operate the course. “We’ll lease it to a manager and then arrange for the city to get a percentage from the total revenue,” Whisman said.

Whisman didn’t learn who else was bidding on the course.

“We got it because it’s such an asset to the city. We didn’t want to see it fall into disarray. It’s near our airport, and people fly into the airport to play golf there.”


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