By DAVID SKOLNICK
The city-owned Henry Stambaugh Golf Course, closed because of Youngstown’s financial problems, will reopen in about two weeks.
The city wanted to find someone or an agency to manage the nine-hole golf course on the North Side and to take the financial risk that goes along with it, said Mayor Jay Williams and Jason Whitehead, the park and recreation director and Williams’ chief of staff.
But city administrators couldn’t find any takers. So they worked out a deal with David Boos, the course’s golf pro since 2006, to manage Stambaugh for $3,333.33 every two weeks till Nov. 30, when its golf season ends, Whitehead said.
The city will keep all course profits and hire two part-time course cashiers, Whitehead said.
Legislation in front of city council Wednesday would pay Boos up to $60,000. With the course reopening in about two weeks and closing Nov. 30, Boos would receive about $53,333.
The city usually opens the course March 1. Because of a general-fund deficit, the course has yet to open.
The city’s board of control must also approve the deal. The board’s next regular meeting is April 15.
In previous years, the city paid Boos about $33,000 annually to be the golf pro, Whitehead said. Boos would use the extra money from the city to hire five to eight part-timers to help operate and maintain the course, including mowing, as well as pay liability insurance and workers’ compensation costs, Whitehead said.
Boos couldn’t be reached Monday by The Vindicator to comment.
The city has increased green fees by $1 to try to have a break-even year, Whitehead said. City residents will now pay $8.50 and those who don’t live in Youngstown will pay $9 for a nine-hole round.
The city lost about $26,540 last year on the course with $102,974 in revenue and $129,514 in expenses.
The course would have come close to breaking even if it didn’t spent $24,000 to pave the parking lot.
No major course improvements will be made this year, Whitehead said.
City officials decided to reopen the course with Boos managing it because of the “minimal financial risk” and because they received many complaints about the possibility of closing the course, Williams said.
“We’ll either break even or come very close,” he said.
Two months ago, the city’s general-fund revenue projection was $3.5 million short of its expenditures. Cuts were made, such as reducing park and recreation costs, and expected revenue was increased. The 2010 general fund, now with a projected balanced budget, was approved by council last week.
The park and recreation cuts included closing the two city-owned pools, saving about $80,000 annually, and not funding summer youth programs.
The 2010 park and recreation budget of $2.6 million is about $385,000 less than its 2009 budget, and $700,000 less than its 2008 budget.
Also, the park and recreation commission had received about $300,000 annually from the city’s community development agency for its summer recreation program and to hire seasonal and part-time workers for that and other program before this year, Whitehead said.
City officials had previously incorrectly stated the park and recreation budget was reduced by $1 million between this year and 2009.
The $1 million figure is actually a comparison of this year’s park and recreation budget with 2008 and includes the $300,000 it won’t receive in 2010 for the summer youth program from the community development agency budget, Whitehead said Monday.