Superior’s City Council will be asked to take a number of actions to ensure a smooth transition at the Nemadji Golf Course, based on recommendations from the city’s Finance Committee.
KemperSports, based in Northbrook, Illinois, could take over management of the Nemadji Golf Course starting Nov. 5. The lease held by Nemadji Golf Course Inc. since 2005 is slated to end Nov. 4.
The city’s Finance Committee approved amendments to both agreements after meeting in closed session Thursday, Aug. 8. Neither item had been listed for closed session on the committee’s agenda, but were included on the agenda for the open meeting.
According to the 2019 Wisconsin Open Meetings Compliance Guide, the attorney general has advised that notice of closed sessions must contain the exemption to Wisconsin law under which an open meeting is closed and the specific nature of the business.
The matters should have been included on the closed session agenda, said Linda Cadotte, Superior’s parks, recreation and forestry director.
Under the terms of the amended agreements, the city will not lose revenue as a result of Nemadji Golf Course Inc. lease ending early, Cadotte said.
However, the city will incur costs as KemperSports takes over management of the facility almost two months earlier than originally planned.
Cadotte said the city will pay a prorated amount of the $7,000 monthly management fee for November, and the full amount for December, plus utilities and other operational expenses for the golf course.
The Finance Committee also approved a recommendation to purchase of equipment and furnishings owned by Nemadji Golf Course Inc. for $90,000. Cadotte said the city is purchasing equipment and furnishings in the clubhouse and kitchen, and equipment for maintaining the grounds, but not golf carts, Cadotte said.
“That will all go to the Council meeting for final approval,” Cadotte said.
While the Finance Committee agenda did provide notice the city would discuss “purchase of assets and gift certificate liabilities for the golf course” in closed session, competitive or bargaining reasons under Wisconsin law permit a closed session when “the discussion will directly and substantially affect negotiations with a third party,” according to the compliance guide.
Committee members did set the parameters for future negotiations to purchase supplies from Nemadji Golf Course Inc. at the end of the season, Cadotte said.
The committee voted to approve all matters in open session.
The Finance Committee also discussed in open session waiving normal bidding procedures for capital expenses at the golf course to take advantage of KemperSports preferred pricing.
The company provides golf course management services at more than 130 golf courses in the U.S. and Mexico.
“Nemadji is a great amenity for the community,” KemperSports CEO Steve Skinner said. “It has a very active junior development program and hosts more than 70 golf outings a year due to the 36-hole facility and other activities. We plan to continue to build on this success and are grateful to the city for selecting us as the course’s new management partner.”