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City of Britt purchasing golf course

The purchase, which has seen overwhelmingly positive community support, comes after years of difficulty for the non-profit group that currently owns it in paying off debt

Posted: Mar 5, 2020 1:14 AM
Updated: Mar 5, 2020 1:33 AM

BRITT, Iowa - Abby Goodenow is a lifelong golfer - currently the secretary of the non-profit Britt Golf Course Board, she golfed in high school, and worked at a country club in her hometown in Northwestern Iowa. She knew she found the right spot to relocate to.

"I had the option to be in Britt, or some surrounding communities I could move to because of my job. One of the reasons I picked Britt was because of the golf course. I wanted to see the golf course survive and be a part of that."

Over the years, the course has seen more interest, including with younger people.

"We've seen it go up and up. The course has been the busiest its ever been since I've been here."

However, as people tee off, the course has been in hot water financially; the non-profit that runs the course first approached the city 6 years ago to see if they would be interested in buying it. At the time, the council said no, and instead suggested the group work on paying off their extensive debt.

"We've made a lot of improvements. The course is better off than it was 6 years ago, but we have that major debt that we can't get out of underneath."

On Tuesday night, Britt City Council members approved the city's purchasing of the course. The community has overwhelmingly supported the move.

"Last night at the meeting, Renee Diemer, she's a real estate agent in town, I thought she really hit it home when she said, 'It sells houses, it's a part of growing the community."

Mayor Ryan Arndorfer understands the importance of having local attractions.

"The minute we start to see amenities like a golf course or the fairgrounds or a swimming pool disappear, it's harder to get people to look at moving to a community or even businesses to build in the community."

Now with the city purchasing it, he says there are plans to maximize profitability.

"The potential for having a restaurant get in there, there's some interest in doing that."

While the city would take ownership of the course, it will be leased back to the Board, who will continue to operate it. Local option sales tax dollars will go towards the purchase.

Arndorfer anticipates a July closing date.

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