The Zephyrhills Municipal Golf Course will remain in play, after all — which is good news for area golfers who enjoy using it.
The Zephyrhills City Council passed a first amendment to its lease agreement with Under Par Inc., to continue to serve as management operators of the 18-hole, par-68 course, at 39248 B Ave.
The action came as part of the consent agenda during a regular meeting on Nov. 29 at Zephyrhills City Hall.
The current lease agreement is set to expire in April 2022.
The new agreement extends the lease for an additional 10 years, until April 30, 2032.
While the initial term is 10 years, the city has the right to cancel the agreement after year five with 18 months’ notice.
Per the lease, Under Par’s annual rent will be $62,000 to the city, and will continue to increase by the consumer-price index (CPI) every two years through April 2027.
Beginning in May 2027, the annual lease will increase by 2% or the CPI each year on an annual basis — whichever figure is greater.
Under Par also will be required to invest $40,000 for the paving of the golf course’s parking lot, within 18 months of the effective agreement. (Should the city cancel years six through 10, the city will pay a penalty of 50% of the remaining golf cart lease and a prorated share of Under Par’s $40,000 capital investment.)
Meanwhile, the course will undergo a slight alteration under the updated lease, as the city secured state funding to construct an access road from Alston Avenue to the airport infield. This access road will be constructed along hole No. 2, along the fence line. The construction will reduce the course’s total acreage by about 0.65 acres, officials say.
Other considerations in the amended agreement include:
- An option for two five-year renewals
- No penalties for early termination during the renewal periods, with an 18-month notice
- Both parties must agree to the renewal at least six months prior to expiration
The city and Under Par have been partners for nearly two decades, as the lessee and lessor originally executed a lease agreement for the course back in September 2002.
Questions had been swirling about the golf course’s future during the past year, as city leaders pondered the possible sale of the 65-acre property.
The National Guard had been scouting the site, on the southwest quadrant of the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport, for possible use for a Florida Army National Guard Armory.
But, the military organization turned its attention to a different location near the airport for an armory to house full-time Army officers during the week, plus hundreds of soldiers and service people visiting and training on weekends.
State lawmakers approved $25 million in appropriations to the military organization, for future training grounds in Zephyrhills, during the past legislative session.
The possible sale of the golf course roused area golfers and residents to rally around keeping the golf course, with several speakers turning out to multiple city council meetings in May to voice their support for continuing its operation.
The course — established in 1957, then opened in 1978 — is regarded as a low-cost alternative compared to surrounding golf courses, where snowbirds and others flock to during the year.
It’s also known as a welcoming place for beginners, seniors, and golfers with disabilities.
Representatives with Under Par have previously stated the facility can average upwards of 1,500 players per week and some 6,000 rounds per month, during the busy winter season between October through February.
Published December 08, 2021