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  • City of Madison Parks Board Addresses Financial Deficit

    Madison, IN— The City Parks Board began the process of addressing the financial deficit at Sunrise Golf Course by voting in favor of increasing greens fees, cart rentals, and memberships. The board also voted in favor of increased weekend rates at the city campground and moving to a punch card system for Crystal Beach swimming pool in place of season passes.   

    “Raising fees is never an easy discussion, but in this situation, we can’t continue asking the broader community to subsidize golf for a few individuals while sacrificing the maintenance of our neighborhood parks and youth programs. Golf at Sunrise has always been a bargain; it continues to be a bargain. We ask those who love to play golf at Sunrise to love the course enough to adequately maintain it by paying fair and competitive rates. We also ask for the golfers’ patience while we make improvements at the course and implement new strategies to deal with this unsustainable deficit operation,” said Mayor Bob Courtney.

    In April of 2020, Mayor Courtney began working to evaluate and restructure the parks department. During this assessment, the financial deficit caused by Sunrise and other parks facilities came to light. “We’ve already corrected the deficit at Crystal Beach and have worked to develop a capital improvement plan for the entire parks department,” said Mayor Courtney.  

    In 2020, the total operating expenses for Sunrise Golf Course totaled $740,441, while the course only generated $370,734 in revenue. The rate increases, along with reductions in overhead and identification of new revenue streams at Sunrise, are projected to generate roughly $300,000 in net revenue. In August of 2020, the discussion of the rate increase was initiated with the board, with recommendations made in October. Last month, the board was given fee structure recommendations for review.

    “For years, the parks department has been operating at a deficit, which has led to deferred maintenance of our overall parks system.  We must move to relieve the parks department of the financial deficit caused by the golf course every year. The rate increase provides us with an opportunity to invest in our community and the quality of life in Madison. This decision has not been made lightly, and I appreciate the support of the Parks Board and Mayor Courtney,” said Parks Director Matt Woolard. 

    The new rates will take effect immediately and can be viewed at madisonin.recdesk.com.