The club, operated by Billy Casper Golf for the Cincinnati (Ohio) Recreation Commission, will get an $800,000 upgrade that will include the construction of an open-air pavilion. All told, $2.8 million in property-tax refunds generated by a Ohio Supreme Court decision will be applied to the city’s six courses, to also fund improvements to cart paths, parking lots, irrigation systems and mowing equipment fleets.
The six municipal golf courses operated by Billy Casper Golf for the Cincinnati (Ohio) Recreation Commission will get upgraded clubhouses, improved cart paths, and better irrigation—without costing city taxpayers anything, Cincinnati.com reported.
The city courses are preparing to benefit from a $2.8 million windfall after a May 2015 decision by the Ohio Supreme Court confirmed that the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals correctly reversed the state tax commissioner’s denial of property-tax exemptions for those courses, Cincinnati.com reported. The commissioner made that ruling because of the courses’ operation by Billy Casper Golf, which is a for-profit contractor.
The refund represents taxes paid between 2011 and 2015, and the Recreation Commission now has a plan for how to use about half of that money, Cincinnati.com reported.
The first chunk of refunded tax dollars, roughly $1.5 million, will include an allocation of $800,000 to update the clubhouse at Glenview Golf Course, the city’s premier golf course in Springfield Township. The project will include constructing an open-air pavilion at Glenview, Cincinnati.com reported.
The funds will also pay for improvements to paved cart paths, parking lots and irrigation systems at many, if not all, of the city’s six golf courses, Cincinnati.com reported.
The facilities owned by the Recreation Commission have seen roughly a 14 percent drop in golf rounds from 2010 to 2015, according to Steve Pacella, the commission’s interim director, Cincinnati.com reported. But the courses are still self-sustaining and popular, he added, with 236,084 rounds logged in 2015. The six courses receive no tax revenue from the city and are maintained to help “build a robust public life,” according to city documents related to this spending, Cincinnati.com reported
Glenview GC—considered one of the most challenging courses in the greater Cincinnati area—was selected to get the most money because it is a popular course for outings and leagues, Pacella said.
Glenview’s clubhouse renovation will include a full renovation of its restroom facilities, the added pavilion and upgrades to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Cincinnati.com reported. Glenview hasn’t undergone a full renovation since it was constructed in the 1970s, Pacella said.
City Council unanimously approved the spending on February 3rd. It will also pay to move the administrative offices for Billy Casper Golf managers from Glenview GC to California Golf Course, Cincinnati.com reported. That move will entail a $40,000 renovation to a former caretaker building at California GC.
The city will spend roughly $600,000 repaving the cart paths and parking lots that are in the worst shape at its six courses, Pacella said, and $100,000 will go toward better irrigation systems.
The city is still waiting for the remaining $1.2 million of the refund, Cincinnati.com reported. Pacella says the recreation commission will ask to spend a portion of it on maintenance equipment, like new mowers, to continue to care for the courses. Much of it, though, he expects to set aside “for a rainy day.”
“All the other courses are in pretty good shape,” Pacella said. “We make the experience the best we can for our folks, and balance that with what needs to be done.”