Pell City Council considers taking over golf course
by David Atchison
Nov 27, 2013 | 1752 views |  0 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bob Crisp/The Daily Home
Bob Crisp/The Daily Home
PELL CITY – City officials are considering getting into the golf business.

“It’s a quality of life issue,” said Councilman Jay Jenkins. “I hope we can come up with a plan.”

Jenkins made his comments after Pine Harbor Golf and Racquet Club members addressed the council about making the private golf course public.

Lloyd Yonkers, who serves as the president of the Pine Harbor Golf and Racquet Club Board of Directors, said because of the economic climate, the golf course cannot remain private.

He said the board believes if the city and county could take over and run it as a public golf course, the facility could become self-sufficient within one or two years.

The property is owned by an individual, who leases the property out to the Pine Harbor Golf and Racquet Club.

Yonkers said it was the lake and the golf course that brought him and his wife to Pell City.

He said he would like to see the golf course remain open.

According to documents provided to the council, the golf course operated at a $17,793 loss last fiscal year, which ended in September 2013.

Mayor Joe Funderburg said city officials have talked to the owners of the property about the golf course.

“They are business people but are willing to talk to us,” he said. “We’re open to looking at what we can do.”

Officials said this is the only 18-hole golf course in St. Clair County.

“If we can make this work, I will be happy to help,” said Councilman Terry Templin, who represents the district where the golf course is located. “We are going to try to do our best.”

The golf course is in the Pine Harbor community in Pell City, adjacent to Logan Martin Lake.

“It is very expensive property in one of the most influential areas of your city,” said Riverside Mayor Rusty Jessup, who serves on the Pine Harbor Golf and Racquet Club Board of Directors.

He said if the golf course closes, it is going to hurt everyone, not just the Pine Harbor community.

“It’s a quality of life issue,” Jessup said. “This is a great opportunity for you.”

He said it would not take a huge cash outlay for the city.

“This is a very good investment for your city,” Jessup said.

He also said the golf course is a good economic development tool and helps project a positive image of Pell City and St. Clair County.

Funderburg said the city would need some assistance.

He told residents to make the St. Clair County Commission aware of the problem.

“They are going to need to come in and partner with us,” Funderburg said.

City Manager Patrick Draper said he believes a public golf course in Pell City could operate without a deficit.

“We need at least two weeks to make a plan to put this in motion,” said Council President James McGowan.

The Pine Harbor Golf and Racquet Club lease will end Jan. 31, 2014.