By City Councilmember Christopher J. Rogers
It may be coincidence or that the stars are aligned but this season a solution to actually saving Mulligans may be percolating.
As many of you know, the city council recently received the results of a survey that was conducted to gauge the public’s opinion of the future of Mulligans. If you would like to see those results, go to www.sjc.utah.gov
I won’t summarize those results here. However, based on those results, an important discussion was had by the mayor and city council on December 2, which was not well attended by the public, that I think will end up becoming the foundation and first step in actually saving Mulligans. I should caution that this discussion is only in its infancy and is not official yet but it may be in the future. It concerns paying off the Mulligans bond. The mayor presented the idea after meeting with city staff and it was received favorably by the council.
Let me explain:
Because of the excellent financial situation of our city, we anticipate a surplus of funds for this current fiscal year in the amount of about $ 5 million. Along with a recent sale of city-owned land along Redwood Road in the amount $ 1.3 million, we expect our total surplus this year to be approximately $ 6.3 million. In addition, we also anticipate that our park impact fund will soon have approximately $ 2.6 million. As a result, we are in an excellent position to pay down debt — namely the Mulligans bond.
Coincidently, the Mulligans bond — the debt the city incurred to partially purchase Mulligans — just happens to be the next bond that is “callable” for the city in April 2015. This means it is the first bond we could pay off without any prepayment penalty. The payoff amount at that time will be $ 4.6 million.
If we used $ 2 million from the park impact fund along with $ 2.6 million from the surplus this year, for a total of $ 4.6 million, to pay off the Mulligans bond in its entirety, we would:
Pay down debt – which is a fiscally conservative and sound course of action;
Have $ 3.6 million in remaining surplus money for capital improvements for the city or other necessities;
Save $ 1.6 million in future interest payments on the bond;
Have Mulligans be financially self-sufficient. If the bond is paid off, Mulligans and the city will no longer need to account for the approximate $500,000 per year bond payment that would have otherwise continued for another 14 years. Instead of being revenue-neutral or negative when counting the bond payment as an expense for Mulligans, those savings now result in a $ 500,000 swing in the financially positive direction for Mulligans. Mulligans then truly profits. As a result, Mulligans’s profits each year can then be used to fund its own improvements without tax increases or supplemental funding from the city.
I think this is the best course of action and the “first step” in truly saving Mulligans. After the bond is paid off, we can then discuss ideas for improvements to the course and facilities, which might include establishing a sound marketing plan to increase usage, better signage, better clubhouse, having Segways to rent for use on the golf course or along the Jordan River Trail, and fee adjustments that are market competitive. These are just some of the ideas. We welcome your input and I know that all the members on the council and the mayor are striving to do what is best for our city concerning the future of Mulligans.