ASBURY, Iowa — The Asbury City Council voted, 4-1, to approve a $226,000 contract with Origin Design for design and bidding services to potentially renovate The Meadows Golf Club’s clubhouse.
For months, the council has been considering renovating the clubhouse, tackling maintenance issues while also turning the club into a year-round facility with golf simulators. Current estimates indicate the project could cost over $2 million.
Before eventually voting in favor, multiple council members questioned the cost of architectural services.
“My struggle here a little bit, personally, is as much as I’d like to do it, we’re remodeling, not reinventing the wheel,” Council Member John Richey said. “We’re just remodeling. To spend over $200,000 to figure out what we have to spend …”
Council Member Russ Domeyer, the one nay vote, asked if there was any way the city could seek public input on the project.
“We’ve got 59 Asbury citizens who have memberships and we have 6,000 people in the city,” Domeyer said. “People keep asking me, ‘Are you really going to spend over $2 million on the golf course?’ Can they have a say in this thing?”
Mayor Jim Adams described the agreement with Origin as a way to get the designs and cost projections the council will need to make an educated decision on whether to continue with the project.
“My response would be, we don’t know, that’s why we’re going through this exercise,” Adams said in reference to the contract with Origin.
City Administrator Beth Bonz said an updated clubhouse could also serve as a restaurant, appealing to more residents.
Council Member Bob Reisch said project costs would be repaid through tax increment financing.
“We have a funding source in TIF,” Reisch said. “That’s money that we’re not going to use for any other project or anything else going on. The time is right to use it for this project.”
Council Member Curt Kiessling said the public has the opportunity to attend the council’s twice-monthly meetings if anyone wants to give input. The council meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month in Asbury City Hall.
Richey, who made the motion to vote on the agreement, said that the discussion had convinced him to support the agreement.
If the council continues to support the project, a bid could be awarded by February, with construction beginning next September and finishing by April 2023.