The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Council Approves Purchase of Golf Course Club House


March 30, 2018

Golfers will see a few changes at Hillside Golf Course soon. The City of Sidney Tuesday night agreed to purchase the club house from Hillside Ventures.

The purchase was approved with a 4-1 council vote. Councilman Wendall Gaston voted against the measure.

“The biggest thing is I’m not in favor of city employees serving food and alcohol,” Gaston said after the meeting.

The agreement is for the City to purchase the building and business for $295,000. The purchase includes the building, all assets, equipment, personal property, goodwill and franchise rights but does not include inventory, according to city attorney Jaquelin “J” Leef. The golf course belongs to the City of Sidney. The purchase is for the club house and associated businesses only.

Leef told the council the sale amount is the result of negotiations rather than the lease amount. She said the City should be able to close on the sale in five to seven days after signing the agreement.

City Manager Ed Sadler said the purchase will result in changes in the business operation.

“This will be less than it is now,” he said.

The food service will be limited to snacks, drinks and a limited selection of hot foods. Operations Director Patrick Kilbride said he will continue to oversee operations at the golf course with Jody O’Connell managing food service. Sadler said there will be some labor cost increase, but not as much as if the facility remains privately owned. Hours of operation for the club house are expected to follow course hours.

The purchase came about in part because of an agreement approved by a prior city council.

In February 2005, the Sidney City Council approved an agreement allowing private investors to construct a building to house a restaurant, pro shop and cart storage. In October 2017, the building was appraised at $319,000. The original agreement allowed the building to be sold back to the City at 90 percent of the appraised value.

The City will fund the purchase through the electric department, effectively by borrowing from itself at a rate of 1.75 percent.

As the council meeting was coming to a close, council members commended city staff for their work in the negotiations.

“I think the committee worked very hard in the best interest of taxpayers,” said councilman Roger Gallaway, referring to the original agreement as a “poorly designed contract.”

Mayor Joe Arterburn said the council was “put in a spot” by the previous council, calling the contract extremely one-sided.

In other business, the council approved filling two board vacancies and advertising for a third. The council approved the appointment of Ami Jaggers to the Library Board for a four-year term to expire in March 2022, and Van Kitt to fill a vacancy on the Housing Authority board until October 2019. A special meeting is scheduled for April 11 when Kitt will assume his position on the Housing Authority board. The council also approved advertising a vacancy on the Tree Board, noting that Tanasia Uhrig, whose term is up for renewal in April, is expected to file to return to the board.


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