Lease or bust for the Indian Spring Country Club

It’s going to be a lease agreement or nothing for the golf course in Evesham Township, as Mayor Randy Brown said a management deal would no longer be on the table.

The current RFP’s for a management deal to run the Indian Springs Country Club will be denied — with approval from the township council — and new RFP’s will be crafted to provide a leasing opportunity to run the country club and catering company at the golf course.

In other words, the council will now be looking for a group to pay the township to run the course, instead of the other way around.

Currently, Brown said the township has a $1.15 million flat bond payment for the next five years for the country club. The council may refinance the bond and reduce the debt to $949,000 a year, Brown said.

If the current management company continued to operate the club, Brown said the township would fall about $500,000 to $600,000 a year short of its debt payment, which the township taxpayer would have to make up.

By Brown’s estimates, the golf course could be bringing in between $4 million to $5 million in gross receipts each year. The course itself should be bringing in $2 million, the driving range $500,000, and the catering company — including the bar and restaurant — should be bringing in about $2.5 million in gross receipts each year, he said.

The minimum leasing agreement the township would accept is $750,000 a year, Brown said. The township currently has about $1.6 million in reserve right now, so the gap is closing, Brown said.

But can the township find someone willing to sign a lease agreement for that amount of money?

“We’re going to find out. We’ll see what bids come in. We just had all of the bids go out for the grass cutting and we had six respondents back to cut our grass. I didn’t expect we’d get six responses,” Brown said. “The market will dictate as to what the real numbers are out there.”

In other township news:

The township’s Fourth of July celebration was “the best one we had in the past five years,” Brown said on Thursday, July 5.

The most people in the history of the celebration came out for each facet of the day, with the township receiving more registrants for the Mayors 5K, the children’s bike parade, the Fourth of July parade, and the fireworks display at Cherokee High School.

By the estimates of the Evesham Celebrations Committee, the fireworks display was seen by about 30,000 visitors. This included the visitors in the high school football field and the surrounding public parks, Brown said.