Lawrence's municipal golf course will cost $3.72 million, and Commissioner Jo Andersen had no problem giving the contract her stamp of approval Tuesday night.
After watching the budget for a new recreation center swell from $5.7 million to $13.5 million, the course's plan to pay for its construction through user fees got her vote.
"If we're going to do public recreation, it's best to do the ones that pay for themselves," Andersen said.
Commissioners voted 3-2 to hire Municipal Golf Inc., of Omaha, Neb., to design and build a city course near Clinton Lake. The company will earn $3.05 million for its work.
Construction is expected to begin in mid-June and should be finished by Oct. 30, 1997, said Tim Burke, the company's president. The 18-hole course will be designed for relatively quick play, with enough challenges to bring players back no matter what their skill levels.
"Whether it's a low-handicapper, a high-handicapper or the beginner, our market is the public golfer," he said.
Commissioner Bob Moody, who joined Commissioner Bonnie Augustine in voting against the project, reiterated his warning to stay off the tee box. A $14 greens fee is one thing, but borrowing $3.6 million against the city's general fund budget is quite another.
"I'm concerned about whether or not we can afford it at this time," he said. "We have higher priorities."