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“We’re really hoping that the driving range improvements will generate a lot of revenue for us,” he said. “That’s our front door, in effect.”
Eric Roggeman, the city’s assistant finance director, said the city already has transferred $300,000 from an operating surplus in the city’s general fund to golf. Exactly how big any remaining financial gap is beyond the additional $25,000 that existed at the end of September will be clearer at year’s end.
“The gap is bigger than we planned on, so that’s a conversation we’ll have to have about how to handle it,” he said.
In recent years, publicly owned golf courses have struggled in many cities as passion for the game seemed to wane. In St. Paul, the City Council is considering whether to look for private companies to operate two of its golf courses.
But Kattreh said that recent statistics nationally and in Minnesota indicate that the number of rounds played is going up again. That, she said, should add a bit of optimism to the coming city discussion.
Mary Jane Smetanka • 612-673-7380