INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — The six-year-old golf carts at the Sandridge golf courses will soon be replaced with 154 new carts.
The Board of County Commissioners approved spending more than $345,050 on the new Yamaha gas-powered carts. The funds will come from the golf course’s user fees.
“If you don’t golf, you’re not paying for these,” Commissioner Wesley Davis said. Assistant County Administrator Mike Zito told commissioners that the new golf cart contract is within 5 percent of the six-year-old contract with Club Car.
Club Car is the vendor Sandridge has used for the last 23 years. According to staff, the new cart from Club Car still has clutch noise – an issue the county has had with Club Car’s carts.
“This problem has been an ongoing concern with Club Car,” staff wrote in a report to commissioners, “and staff feels that this could be a mechanical issue in the future.”
Commissioners briefly considered not purchasing as many carts, but decided to move forward with the staff’s recommendation.
“I don’t think we want to be turning people away” because there are not enough carts, Commission Chairman Peter O’Bryan said.
Yamaha was one of three vendors to bid the carts and had the second highest cost per cart. However, the company had the highest trade-in value on the carts of $1,500.
The contract price with Yamaha is a little more than $550,500. But with the trade-in of a maximum of 154 carts, the price was to drop to $318,000.
However, not all 154 carts will be traded it. Instead, at least 17 carts will be held back, making the contract price increase to a little more than $345,000.
Two of those will be offered for sale to two non-profits that have expressed an interest in receiving a cart. The remaining 15 will be placed on the public auction block.
“There’s a substantial market for these,” Davis said.
Proceeds from the golf carts’ auction to the public will go back to the golf course and offset the contract with Yamaha.
O’Bryan noted during the board discussion that though the carts are from Yamaha, they are built in a factory in Georgia.
In the past, commissioners have considered rotating carts – buying a few new throughout the years to swap out the old instead of buying large numbers at one time.
In so doing, though, the price per cart increased, making it more economical to buy in bulk rather than piecemeal.