The 123-year-old private club will use the land to support a $3.4 million project that will support its transition into a year-round operation. As part of the purchase agreement, the city will reserve a public-utility easement and the club will now be responsible for a section of storm-sewer utilities.
City Council members in Dubuque, Iowa have agreed to sell land to the private Dubuque Golf & Country Club for half of its estimated assessed value, the Dubuque Telegraph Herald reported. The club will use the right-of-way rights acquired through the deal to help support its transition into a year-round operation by expanding its existing parking lot.
The agreement, which was approved by City Council members in a 7-0 vote, includes the city selling 8,100 sq. ft. of right-of-way area along Randall Place for $32,197, totaling $3.975 per sq. ft., along with an additional 11 acres of right-of-way for $67,000, totaling 14 cents per sq. ft., the Telegraph Herald reported.
Lance Marting, PGA, Dubuque G&CC’s Chief Operations Officer and General Manager, told the Telegraph Herald that acquiring the right-of-way was needed in order to make necessary improvements and expand the club’s current parking lot, as part of a $3.4 million project to transition from a seasonal business to a year-round operation.
“It’s a rework of parking,” Marting said. “This was an opportunity to buy that piece of land.”
As part of the purchase agreement, the city will reserve a public-utility easement on the right-of-way, which will allow it to install, maintain and repair utilities on the property in the future, the Telegraph Herald reported. Additionally, the club will now be made responsible for a section of storm-sewer utilities in the right-of-way.
Gus Psihoyos, a city engineer, said the price of the property was determined by taking the average of the assessed square-foot values of properties abutting the golf course and cutting the proposed price by 50%, due to the city reserving a public-utility easement, the Telegraph Herald reported.
“Since we are still maintaining a public-utility easement, we usually reduce the price,” Psihoyos said. “We usually reduce it by 50%.”
It was determined that the city should sell the parcels of land after determining they would likely go unused, Psihoyos added.
“These were little strips of land that were surrounded by country club land on both sides,” he said. “It’s hard to imagine we would ever use it, so it made sense to sell it.”
While reviewing the Randall Place property, city staff discovered a special ordinance from Dubuque City Council in 1923 that vacated 11 acres of street rights-of-way in portions of lands throughout the club’s property, which allowed the country club to use the land but did not grant the club ownership, the Telegraph Herald reported.
A public-utility easement was issued on the 11 acres of property as well, which resulted in the city once again halving the price, the Telegraph Herald reported.
Nate Kieffer, a land surveyor for the city, said the city has not yet determined if any public utilities are located on the 11 acres of property, but the public-utility easement was issued in the event that any utility infrastructure is discovered, the Telegraph Herald reported.
Founded in 1898, the Dubuque Golf and Country Club is one of a handful of private country clubs west of the Mississippi River that are over 120 years old. Its golf course was originally designed by Tom Bendelow.