After a two-hour closed door session, the North Platte city council postponed a decision Tuesday on a contract with a private company to operate the Iron Eagle Golf Course.
The council agreed 7-1 to close the doors after the regular session was over, with Judy Pederson opposed. They went into closed session shortly before 9 p.m. and came out around 10:50 p.m.
In the end, City Administrator Jim Hawks agreed to get the city attorney together with a Landscapes Management representative and attorney as soon as possible to iron out a few terms of the proposed contract.
Mayor Marc Kaschke said councilmembers hope to be sure that each of the current employees will be interviewed by Landscapes.
Other issues that remain to be clarified include the definition of revenues, of which there are some differences in separate parts of the contract, and to more clearly define what would happen if a natural disaster occurs.
After such clarifications are made, the council agreed to hold a special session if necessary to vote on the contract.
Kaschke hopes it can be settled within a couple weeks.
"If our staff can get together with theirs (Landscapes) this week and reach agreement, we'd have a special session next week to vote," he said.
Under the proposed terms, the agreement would last five years. Landscapes would be required to propose an operating budget each year and the city would have 30 days to approve it or not.
Landscapes would hire and fire employees and promote the course. Expenditures and receipts would run through a separate bank account controlled by the city but follow the recommendations of Landscapes.
Landscapes would be paid $5,000 a month, plus the rate of inflation as calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Landscapes could also earn more if the course makes more -- 25 percent of any yearly increase in net operating income compared to the fiscal year that ended September 30.
The city would pay for major improvements to the buildings and the course, if they become feasible or necessary.
Struggling to make ends meet, the city-owned course hasnít made a profit since 1997. Last year, it suffered an operating loss of $178,000, in addition to its $250,000 annual debt payment on the construction loan.