Several months after the City Council began considering handing over the day-to-day responsibility for the troubled DeBell Golf Club to Scott Scozzola, a contract was approved this week by the City Council and the new management structure will be implemented in January.
That's good news. The council has determined Scozzola is the right person for the job of overseeing the city-owned club, which is mired in debt. At this point we have no reason to question his abilities. In fact, it has been noted by local golf enthusiasts that under Scozzola's guidance, there have been welcome changes at DeBell.
We would caution the City Council, however, to keep a very close eye on DeBell's balance sheet in the coming year. There are still costly capital improvements needed — to the tune of $600,000 — that DeBell cannot afford.
And it's not expected to generate enough revenue on its own to maintain or improve the course for nine years, or even longer. That means the city, which has already lent DeBell $1 million and set another cool million aside just in case it's needed, will very likely have to tap into those funds soon.
The question is, will the course really turn around to the point that it is truly a winning proposition for the city and its residents? Nine years might be too long to wait to see if it can really stand on its own feet. We'd urge that monthly reports be made on DeBell's progress during 2014. If during that period it is not trending upward in a significant way, the city must be prepared to make the hard decision and pull the plug.