Debt for golf course approved by Bethlehem City Council

September 12, 2018 by  

The Bethlehem City Council recently voted 5-2 to approve taking on a debt of $1.785m to pay for Bethlehem Golf Club capital improvements.

In the days leading up to the vote, Councilman Bryan Callahan had backed the alternative plan of bringing in a third party to handle the course’s operation via lease. However, his mind was changed and he voted for the loan due to concessions granted by the city’s unions, and the realistic and easy-to-understand financing plan presented.

The debt was approved on the first reading and is to be followed by a second and final reading that are scheduled for next Tuesday, September 18.

The golf course has been not been keeping up with its expenses for about a decade. However, by cutting back on the quantity of full-time employees and the renegotiation of the Clubhouse Grille contract, it is hoped the financial loss will be staunched. That, combined with the long overdue capital improvements at the course, will hopefully put The Bethlehem Golf Course back on track.

Commonly, capital improvements to golf courses and other recreational facilities prompt a new brochure printing order highlighting the improvements.

Improvement plans include taking down 161 trees and improving cart ways, greens, and bunkers, as well as creating a pavilion, wider fairways, new irrigation system, and restrooms. The loan from Penn Community Bank will be a fixed 3.5% for its 20-year life.