For the last few months Gilmer’s BOC has considered proposals to lease the White Path golf course. There have been several closed door executive sessions used to negotiate these proposals. On Thursday July 10th, the RFP came to a close. The results of the proposals were discussed during the regularly scheduled meeting that night.
Several items on the agenda preceded the golf course announcement.
First the board voted for and approved the agenda and previous minutes, after which, financial officer Sandi Holden covered departmental budgets. According to her all of the departments except three, were under budget as of the end of May.
The next item on the agenda was to change the name of Riggs Road to Hills Lake Road, which was the original name. The item was approved unanimously.
The second item was to “authorize the execution of the agreement for transition operating assistance with the GA DOT for 2015 operating assistance for public transportation services.”
“This is our portion of the motor fuel tax.” Chairman Sanford explained. The total comes to just over $400,000 and the deadline to use the funds falls on December 31st of this year.
Item number three on the agenda was the reappointment of Darren Gaddis to the Gilmer county board of tax assessors. The item was approved unanimously.
Items four through six included rezoning properties. All three properties were approved unanimously.
Finally, the golf course proposal was discussed. Danny Hall introduced the item.
“I’ve fought long and hard to privatize the golf course, because I want the businessman to thrive in this county... I have to concede that the county is still running the golf course because no one could come up with enough money to pay the bids. I still wish that the county, if after I’m long gone, would still consider the businessman. The last thing we need is bigger government.”
“As I was campaigned for this position, I was in favor of outsourcing this as well... This was a tough decision,” Dallas Miller added. There were three proposals in all, and according to Miller, none of the proposals met all the requirements put forth in the RFP.
The three proposers - Classic Golf Management Inc., Davey Golf, and Mozelle Varner/Mike Brumby.
Classic Golf Management offered to manage the golf course in it’s entirety in exchange for 5% of the gross revenue. Under the proposal the county would retain all assets from the golf course. CGM also offered a proposal in which they would pay the county 5% of gross revenues in exchange for the accepted equipment valuation and payment plan set forth in the RFP.
Davey Golf presented two offers. In the first offer Davey Golf would lease, manage, and maintain the golf course in exchange for $12,000/year payable in monthly installments. Under this proposal the county would receive 60% of all gross-revenues exceeding $350,000/year.
Davey Golf’s second offer was $12,000/year and 50% of gross revenues exceeding $300,000/year.
Mozelle Varner and Mike Brumby’s proposal included $75,000/year for the first year. After that the proposal increased at $5000/year until it capped out at $90,000/year. The proposal also included servicing eight athletic fields and three ball fields with pre-emergence, fertilizer, and other treatments, a service they valued at $20,000/year.
Dallas Miller made the motion to reject the proposals.
“Where as none of the proposals have met the minimum requirements set forth in the RFP, nor are those proposals considered to be in the best interest of the citizens of Gilmer county, I move that resolution 14-077, the awarding of Whitepath golf course RFP, be rejected, and thereby not awarding the RFP to any proposer and not proceeding with negotiations of lease management and maintenance of white path.”
Danny Hall responded.
“I ain’t seconding that,”
The Chairman then seconded the motion and asked for input by citizens. FYN’s Brian Pritchard took the podium and asked if the same RFP could be immediately put back out for more proposals.
“Listen, they both want to run the golf course.” Danny Hall signaled to Sanford and Miller. “Not just one of them, but both of them.”
The vote was then held with Chairman Sanford and Dallas Miller voting yes, and Danny Hall voting no.
The video in it’s entirety is posted below. The item covering the golf course starts at 19 min 30 seconds.