Baldwin City Council moves forward with new golf course clubhouse
After passing on options deemed too small and too big, the Baldwin City Council signaled its intent Monday to help construct a new clubhouse just the right size at the Baldwin City Municipal Golf Course.
That decision may recall a popular fairy tale, and the alternate the council opted to support was dubbed Goldilocks because its size would fit the city’s needs and those of its partners, the Baldwin Golf Association and the Baldwin City Recreation Commission.
The decision came after City Administrator Chris Lowe told the council the recreation commission board indicated last month it could contribute $10,000 if the new clubhouse would be large enough to house some BCRC activities. In return for its contribution, the recreation commission would be allowed to use the new clubhouse rent free for fitness classes and senior activities.
Lowe will now take to the recreation commission board a proposal that would raze the current clubhouse at the city-owned golf course and replace it with a $75,000, 40-by-48-foot building.
The city and the Baldwin Golf Association, which leases the 18-hole sand green course from the city for $1,500 a year, have been in discussions the past three months about replacing the former horse barn that has served as the courses clubhouse since the 1960s. The structure’s roof is failing and there is severe water damage to its interior.
The so-called Goldilocks 40-by-48-foot option was one of four alternate sizes Councilman Shane Starkey presented his fellow council members Monday to replace the current clubhouse. The cheapest option at $25,000 was to raze the old horse barn and replace it with an open shelter with ADA accessible restrooms, such as those at parks on High Street and the swimming pool.
Central to the other three options is the city and the Baldwin Golf Association entering into a new 10-year lease agreement. The golf association’s annual $4,000 lease payment would be used to repay a $40,000 no-interest loan the city would extend to the association to help construct a new clubhouse.
The golf association will attempt to reduce the construction cost by $20,000 through commitments from local contractors to donate labor and materials for the new clubhouse’s interior.
The council favored the Goldilocks alternative over an option of replacing the current clubhouse with a $57,000 building the same size as the 30-by-40-foot old horse barn, which would serve only the golf association’s needs, and a $100,000, 48-by-60-foot site large enough to be used for multiple recreation commission activities.
Councilwoman Kathy Gerstner noted the favored option would provide a building for family events not currently available in the city. It would also secure the recreation commission’s involvement without being so big as to create management and organizational issues, council members agreed.
Baldwin Golf Association President Steve Wilson said the association would explore hiring someone to manage rental of the clubhouse for special events, as well as maintenance of the clubhouse and golf course.
Adding to the appeal of the new lease was the golf association’s willingness to allow such things as horseshoe pits and sand volleyball courts on the property, Councilwoman Christi Darnell said.
Council members delayed making a final decision on the clubhouse until the recreation commission’s board made a formal commitment to the project at its Jan. 15 meeting.