The Cook County-Grand Marais Joint Economic Authority (EDA) board of directors voted on Tuesday to support a proposal to turn over control and ownership of Superior National Golf Course at Lutsen to Cook County, provided the county agrees to invest significant funds in the golf course over the next decade.
The EDA is asking the county to pay for capital improvements and deferred maintenance on the course, estimated at $1.5 million, and to retire the remaining golf course bonds, which stand at $460,000. The total investment by the county over 10 years would be about 3 million dollars.
Mark Sandbo is on the EDA’s golf course committee. He presented the proposal to the EDA board.
“ It’s time for us to do something with the golf course," said Sandbo. "There’s some recommendations that we have. Number one, let’s transfer the golf course to the county, have the county take over the golf course. If the county should invest at 1.5 million dollars of sales tax proceeds, we think that would be a great benefit to the county, or to the golf course. It would pay for a lot of the critical needs in terms of the bunkers and the tees and the greens, and equipment that needs to be used. We need to pay off the remaining golf course bond. If we wait until the next bond payment, witch is in February of 2011, there’ll be about $465,000 left to pay on the golf course. And the county….they’re going to save themselves about $200,000 dollars in interest if they do that.”
The proposal also recommends the course be managed by a non-profit corporation, the Superior National Stewardship Corporation, with an appointed board of directors made up of representatives from the EDA, county board, tourism organizations and Friends of Superior National.
The proposal will go before the County Commission during its Tuesday, August 24th meeting.