Portland explores outside management for Riverside Golf Course

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PORTLAND — The city is looking for a new operator for the restaurant at Riverside Golf Course and may consider bringing in outside management to run the municipal course.

The Finance Committee is scheduled to discuss Riverside on Thursday and that discussion is expected to include reviewing a request for proposals to run Bogey’s Restaurant beginning this spring.

City Public Services Director Mike Bobinsky said he also expects the committee to discuss management of the course in general, including the possibility of private management.

“Right now, Public Services runs the course, the clubhouse and pro shop with limited staff,” Bobinsky said. Three city employees manage the course.

Bobinsky emphasized that the city is not considering selling the property.

City Councilor John Anton, chairman of the Finance Committee, said he would like to explore management changes at the course. Anton said any decision would have to be made by the full council with extensive stakeholder input.

“My concern in the short term is that the prospective RFP not be written in a manner that precludes the possibility of moving to outside management at the golf course in the future,” he said.

The current operator of Bogey’s signed a five-year lease that ends April 24 and will not be renewed.

In a memo to the Finance Committee, city attorney Mary Costigan said the operator, Ted Everest, owes the city about $22,000 in back rent and utilities. The city worked out a deal with Everest to allow him to operate through the winter while paying the city more than $12, 800 to satisfy past-due rent and utilities.

The restaurant has limited hours in the winter for the cross-country skiers, snowshoers and sledders who use the course.

“He’s paid rent and we came to the understanding that it did not make sense to renew the lease,” Bobinsky said.

Costigan in her memo said the RFP is drafted and should be issued this week. Rent over the five years for the current lease was $69,000.

The Finance Committee meets Jan. 27 at 5:30 p.m. in Room 209 at City Hall.

Kate Bucklin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or kbucklin@theforecaster.net