Lynnwood reviewing vendors for golf course

LYNNWOOD — City officials hope to hire a private company to run the struggling Lynnwood Municipal Golf Course.

City staff have been reviewing proposals from potential vendors and expect to make a decision by early November, Mayor Don Gough said.

The golf course’s sagging finances have been criticized in recent years by the state Auditor’s Office. The City Council spent months debating the course’s future before deciding to farm out its management. During that time, the city paid a consultant up to $10,000 to make recommendations. The consultant supported hiring a vendor.

The city needs to choose a company that will make the course profitable, Gough said.

“We’re going out and doing that,” he said. “We’re right in the middle of it right now.”

The golf course has become a campaign issue in this year’s mayoral and city council elections, with several candidates saying they would vote to close the course if continues to siphon money from other city programs.

Gough estimated that the golf course still owes the city’s general fund about $1.3 million. That’s been a problem for the state auditors.

The City Council is working on a plan to address the state’s concerns, Gough said.

The mayor believes the golf course has struggled in part due to budget cuts during the economic downturn. A private vendor would be in a better position to add staffing, make improvements and use social media marketing, he said.

The auditors also told the city to resolve problems with the course’s fee system and payment schedule. The city is considering new rules.

The 75-acre golf course along 68th Avenue W. is shorter than most, making it popular with young people, women and older folks. Nearby Edmonds Community College owns about half the property.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449, rking@heraldnet.com.

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