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Council Votes to Proceed with Swiftwater Consulting for Golf Course Management

With two councilmembers absent, the remaining body was split 3-2 over proceeding with Bob Gelinas of Swiftwater Consulting and Management.

Five members of the Enumclaw City Council were present during Monday's meeting to approve by a 3-2 vote asking city administration to continue pursuing a lease agreement with Swiftwater Consulting and Management - one of two proposals the city was weighing over contracted management of the city golf course.

Councilmembers Darrel Dickson and Chance LaFleur opposed the decision. Dickson voiced his support for local business owner Peter Erickson of Performance Physical Therapy, who submitted the other proposal, as the better option to be able to bring value to the local asset. He said he was impressed that Erickson did not plan to take a salary from the endeavor in the first few years and noted he had the support of the Enumclaw High School golf community as well as connections to the Chamber of Commerce.

LaFleur presented Council with a two-page spreadsheet of his analysis of financial information regarding the contracting out of the golf course, concluding that the move would end up costing the city more than it would take in.

"There is a cost to do this, and when staff comes to us and says we have this much more dollars coming out next year, we cannot be upset about the point that we have added expenditures on top of what we already agreed to lose," he said. "I'd just like everyone to make sure ... you're OK with that. We are expecting it; it will be coming. There's no real way around it."

Councilmembers Jim Hogan, Kyle Diercks and Glen Jensen supported moving forward with Swiftwater but acknowledged Erickson for his passion in stepping up to taken on this project with a genuine desire to support his community.

Hogan further added he hoped there would be a way if the city does finalize an agreement with Swiftwater that Erickson could still pursue some of the not-for-profit plans he had outlined in his proposal to call in volunteers and rally the community around this asset.

Councilman Sean Krebs was reportedly absent due to illness but did submit a letter read aloud by City Administrator Mike Thomas indicating his support for the Swiftwater proposal, largely because Gelinas has the experience in running a similar operation.

The Courier-Herald has more information about each proposal.

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