Gardner golf’s lease is coming to an end.
From 6-7 p.m. on Feb. 9 at the senior citizen building, there will be a town hall meeting to discuss the Gardner golf course’s future.
The current 30-year golf course operating agreement is scheduled to expire in August, 2018.
“As the current operating agreement nears the end of its term, the city of Gardner is interested in working with the community to explore possible improvement options for the property.   The town hall meeting on Feb. 9 will be the beginning of the process,” said Jeff Stewart, director of parks and recreation.
Prior to 1988 when the lease was approved, the original nine hole course was constructed and managed by volunteers. It had sand greens, and the property was leased from the city for $1 per year.
During the town hall meeting, attendees will hear a short presentation and then will be given an opportunity to ask questions and provide suggestions or feedback.
The meeting will be the first step in exploring options.  Citizen feedback will be shared with the city council at a later work session, at which time staff will seek direction to develop a scope for the master plan, said Stewart.
The course has about 129 acres, but the property has not been appraised.
Under the terms of the expiring lease, lessors remit two percent of green fees as payment. In 2015 the city received $2,256 and in 2014 $3,122.
Green fees are listed on the course’s website at $20 – $30 for individuals.
“They do provide us with an annual payment each August reporting what they recorded in greens fees and memberships,” Stewart said.
In 2015, 5,777,000 gallons of water was transferred to the Gardner golf course for irrigation and in 2014, 9,468,000 gallons.
The water is pumped from Gardner Lake, but because it is untreated there is no cost to the city associated with the raw water, according to city officials. Under the terms of the 1988 lease, water was provided at no charge.
Although the city owns the property, it does not currently own gas or oil rights, but receives 1/8 of the production price of oil.