By Tia Lyons
New golf carts will soon be available to rent at Lions Club Municipal Golf Course.
The El Dorado City Council opted out of a lease agreement for 40 golf carts and a golf ball picker at the golf course and agreed to enter another lease for a whole new fleet.
Robert Edmonds, director of public works, told council members Feb. 7 that the city was nearing the end of a sub-lease agreement with former Lions Club golf professional Mike Hoelzer.
In January 2017, the El Dorado Parks and Playgrounds Commission and city council opted not to renew Hoelzer’s employment contract.
He had served as golf pro since April 2014, and in 2015, the parks and playgrounds commission agreed to amend Hoelzer’s contract to allow him to purchase the city’s then-aging fleet of golf carts and lease 40 new carts for Lions Club.
Following the vote not to renew Hoelzer’s contract and considerable discussion, city officials and commissioners agreed that the city would make lease payments directly to Hoelzer for 24 months, ending in March.
The city would then have the option to continue the lease with Golf Cars of Louisiana for another 18 months or let go of the lease and enter into a new one, as Edmonds explained to city council members Thursday.
Edmonds suggested that the city drop the lease and enter into a new lease that would come with a new, 40-cart fleet.
“This lease differs slightly. It’ll be $100 more a month than what we have now,” Edmonds said. “Those carts will go back to the finance company and we’ll lease another new fleet of carts.”
For the past 23 months, the city has been making monthly lease payments of $3,017, which included maintenance.
Edmonds said maintenance is also included in the new lease.
“Weren’t we waiting for this lease to come up so we can get out of this lease,” Council Member Judy Ward asked.
“Yes,” Edmonds said, just before the council unanimously approved the new lease.
Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or by email at tlyons@ eldoradonews.com.