Sebastian leaders renew $279,500 cart lease for golf course

SEBASTIAN – Sebastian city leaders have decided to stay the course with the golf car provider at the Sebastian Municipal Golf Course – the same company the city’s been doing business with since the course opened in 1981.

The Sebastian City Council approved renewing a lease with Club Car, which will provide 86 new golf cars for 39 months at a cost of $279,500. City Manager Al Minner recommended the council approve the lease renewal, though he told them the city is essentially “locked in(to)” the lease due to the terms of the final payment.

However, he assured them that the price the city is receiving from the golf cart manufacturer is competitive and “very reasonable.”

The city’s lease with Club Car expires in October, at which time the council could have made the final payment of $90,000 and taken ownership of the carts at the golf course.

Minner told the council that taking ownership of the carts might not be the best way to go. He explained that the carts have a lifespan of three or four years – or 515 rounds of golf annually.

If the city were to own the carts, the biggest expense would be replacing the batteries – which average about $800, he said. With 86 carts, that city could be looking at spending $68,800.

While the Sebastian City Council unanimously approved the lease’s renewal, Sebastian resident Damien Gilliams expressed concern that maybe the city isn’t getting the best cart price.

He said that if the city were to end the lease, it could sell the old carts at auction to residents to recoup the expense. Gilliams also suggested the city look at acquiring solar-powered golf carts to save on battery expenses.

The council did not comment on his suggestions.

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