Discussions about the uncertain financial standing of Spring Hill Golf Course continued Sept. 6 at a City Commission meeting.

Clubhouse manager Cathy Vaughn and Dale Kuhn, treasurer for the Spring Hill Golf & Recreation Association, came before the commissioners with better news than expected, according to financial projections provided by Kuhn.

The golf course first requested financial assistance from the commissioners in a letter dated Aug. 9.

Its total request for the remainder of 2016 was for $12,855.42 and the request for next year is $34,277.67. The commissioners provided $3,600 to pay the course’s immediate needs. Due to proceeds from a recent tournament, Spring Hill was able to pay all of its bills from August and still have some cash left over.

But Vaughn and Kuhn said the club still would need financial assistance during the winter months because of the lack of tournaments in that season.

Additionally, Vaughn said there was apprehension from current members to pay yearly dues with no guarantee that the golf course would remain open.

“We want a guarantee from you that we will be open next year,” she told commissioners.

Appearing with Vaughn and Kuhn were approximately 25 to 30 members of Spring Hill, who stood throughout their presentation.

Mayor Duane Oestmann said he did not want to see the facility close, but the city would be limited in how it could help due to 2017 budget constraints.

For now, Kuhn and City Manager Nick Hernandez agreed to meet regularly to discuss the financial standing of the golf course.

No additional funds were allocated to the course during the meeting. It is projected to end September with a positive cash balance, with four tourneys remaining.

Citizen Vickie Jackson stood to speak after those in support of the golf course left the commission room at City Hall.

“This is a tough, tough decision. … This is a city of 12000, and they have 66 (members),” she said.

Jackson also said the majority of individuals and families in Arkansas City could not afford to play the expensive sport.

The governing body should be very careful in the allocation of funds to such a facility, given the percentage of the population that actually uses it, Jackson went on to say. “It’s not a sport that’s on the rise,” she said.

Charge found unconstitutional

The commissioners unanimously passed ordinances that adopt updated criminal codes and standard traffic laws in Arkansas City.

The largest difference in this year’s laws is the elimination of the charge of failure to submit to preliminary testing in the case of driving under the influence.

Because of a recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling, this charge was found to be unconstitutional.

However, City Attorney Tamara Niles said the charge likely will come back next year in some form, since the U.S. Supreme Court has stated a different opinion.

For the time being, the Arkansas City Police Department will depend largely upon other testing to confirm suspicions of driving under the influence, such as field sobriety testing and visual observations of traffic violations.

Commissioner Dan Jurkovich was absent from the meeting.

In other business, the commission:

  • witnessed the swearing in of new police officer Matt Mayo.
  • unanimously approved the consent agenda.
  • unanimously approved a resolution designating a parcel of property owned by the city as a public recreation area to be named Chestnut Park.
  • unanimously authorized the city to enter into a contract with Kuhn Mechanical to repair the primary softening basin at the water treatment plant for an amount not to exceed $32,000.
  • unanimously agreed upon delegates to attend and vote at the League of Kansas Municipalities’ annual business meeting.
  • held a five-minute executive session to discuss property acquisition. No action was taken after the closed session.