City awards golf cart fleet for The Bluffs

By Travis Gulbrandson

travis.gulbrandson@plaintalk.net

The Vermillion City Council has awarded a bid for a new five-year golf cart lease for The Bluffs Golf Course.

Yamaha Golf & Utility of Burnsville, MN, has been awarded the bid for use of a fleet of 40 new golf carts at the cost of $22,084.80 per year for five years.

Parks & Recreation director Jim Goblirsch said the bid will save the city $364.80 over that five years.

Goblirsch also pointed out that The Bluffs does get a fair amount of revenue from the carts, with approximately $91,000 and $83,000 in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

The course’s current golf cart lease agreement is with Midwest Golf Car, Inc., and expires on Feb. 1, 2014.

The bid awarded on Dec. 16 will run through Feb. 1, 2019.

The new carts will be outfitted with power outlets, which Goblirsch said fits in with the city’s vision of having an online registration system.

“With a golf app for your phone, if you’re going to have your phone with you out on the golf course to look at the GPS, the yardage or any other thing, you would have an outlet … for your phone in there,” he said.

Each cart also will be equipped with a gas gauge.

“(That’s) going to make life easier for the staff out there,” Goblirsch said. “They won’t have to be guessing and opening up the seats to see how much gas is in the cart at that time.”

Customers will appreciate it, too, he said.

“By no chance are they going to go out in the cart and run out of gas. That’s a convenience for our users, as well,” Goblirsch said.

Maintenance of the carts will be provided byYamaha Golf & Utility, while damage to them will be the responsibility of the users.

This bid comes two weeks after the Vermillion City Council moved to increase a number of fees at The Bluffs, most of them ranging between 50 cents and $10.

One of the larger increases was a season pass for two parents and one child, which moved up from $709 to $724, and from $739 to $754 for families with more than two children.

In addition to the rate increases, earlier this month Goblirsch said investigations are being made on how to encourage new members and new golfers to use the facility, including the online registration system he mentioned Dec. 16.

“We feel that’s going to be a plus for us,” he said.

Goblirsch had added that the Department of Parks & Recreation is working on an education program to get the word out about the course via college radio and other mediums.

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