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Crossett recommends city take over golf course restaurant

POLSON — After a steady diet of discussion on the sewage treatment site for the last two meetings, Mayor Pat DeVries and the Polson City Commissioners changed topics and discussed the golf restaurant management options at the meeting on Feb. 1. 

Polson City Manager Todd Crossett said the city’s choices were either get another vendor or take over the food and beverage service at the Polson Bay Golf Club restaurant.

“We need to take a good hard look,” Crossett said, since the city has been losing $10,000 to $15,000 each year.

Crossett recommended the city take over food and beverage service and hire a manager who would report to both Crossett and Roger Wallace, who is in charge of the Polson Bay Golf Course. Crossett suggested a simple menu and “robust cart service.” 

Crossett said the city should “create a hangout for the golfers, casual with fast service” where they could come with “goose poop on their shoes and not offend anyone.” 

Golfers have migrated away from the course, Crossett said. If golfers could be enticed back, even a 15 percent increase in business and a modest increase in the golfing business would allow the city to break even. 

Mayor DeVries said her number one concern was how much time Crossett and Wallace would have to devote to restaurant management. 

Crossett said he had already been spending a lot of time with the vendors, and compensation had been added to Wallace’s contract. 

Commissioner Ron Boyce asked Crossett if a contract for eight months had ever been offered to a vendor and if any restaurant owners in the community were interested in an eight-month contract with a contracted menu. 

Crossett said he had relied heavily on Wallace for the numbers he presented. Crossett added that the manager job might be “a good fit for someone who works in the ski business.” 

The commissioners discussed hiring a manager, how long the hiring process would take and selling the liquor license. 

City Attorney James Raymond advised the commission that if a city holds the contract on a liquor license and the buyer defaults, the liquor “license goes away.” 

Although he didn’t mention the liquor license, President of the Polson Advisory Golf Board Dave Sheesley commented “If you go to the movies, you expect popcorn, even if it’s snowy … When golfers go to the golf course, they’d like a beer or a soda or a sandwich.” 

Sheesley also urged the commission to start advertising for a manager right now because all the good people are looking for summer work right now.  

The commissioners voted to table the issue until the next meeting, with Mayor DeVries dissenting.

Pam Gibson from Mission Valley Animal Shelter thanked the Polson City Commission for the $1,000 they gave to the Lake County Spay/Neuter Task Force for its spring spay and neuter clinic. Gibson said the three spay and neuter clinics already held have helped 1,100 animals.

In other business, the commission passed the Following:

• A request from Polson Loaves and Fish Food Pantry to waive $2,187 in fees

• A request to appoint Carolyn Heinz to the Polson City Library Board of Trustees

• A request to change the Feb. 15 meeting to Feb. 17 since Feb. 15 is Presidents Day

During city manager comments, Crossett reported:

• Applying for a $200,000 Department of Environmental Quality energy efficiency grant.

• February is the month Polson will hear whether or not it received the TIGR grant for the Skyline Drive project. 

• Meeting with representatives from Senators Baucus and Tester regarding appropriations.

• Preparing the bid package for Streetscape. Crossett anticipated two or three blocks done before Memorial Day. 

• The Polson Stakeholders group met for the first time on Jan. 28. The next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 25.

• The city will be enforcing the snow removal ordinance. Many complaints of snowy sidewalks have been received. 

Crossett also commended the Polson Police Department for stepping up in the suicide attempt and a stabbing incident. 

The next meeting will be held on Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. in City Commission chambers.

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