Letter: Golf group plans to keep Golf Links, reduce tax billWendell Pittenger, lessee and operator of the Red Wing municipal golf course known as Mississippi National Golf Links, has announced his intention to cease his operation of the public golf course. Consequently, the Red Wing City Council has to decide how to continue operation of Red Wing's magnificent 36-hole municipal golf course.
By: John Kjolhaug, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
Wendell Pittenger, lessee and operator of the Red Wing municipal golf course known as Mississippi National Golf Links, has announced his intention to cease his operation of the public golf course. Consequently, the Red Wing City Council has to decide how to continue operation of Red Wing's magnificent 36-hole municipal golf course.
Adhering to the city’s strategic plan, a group of local citizens — golfers at Mississippi National Golf Links — has created a non-profit corporation to lease and operate our 36-hole municipal golf course, partnering with the city.
The purpose of this letter is to explain to Red Wing's citizens what the non-profit corporation known as Red Wing Municipal Golf Corporation is about.
First: RWMGC wants the city to continue to own our municipal golf course.
Red Wing citizens in 1985 voted overwhelmingly to have a city-owned golf course. Over the past 27 years the citizens and taxpayers of Red Wing have spent in excess of $3.5 million to build the 36-hole municipal course. We have no interest in buying Red Wing's municipal golf course.
Second: The city of Red Wing will no longer have to budget monies annually for the municipal golf course.
RWMGC, as a non-profit corporation, will operate the golf course so that the expenses will be paid by the users. We will operate the course so that no further tax dollars will be used to operate the municipal golf course. We will put all the revenues of the course back into the course.
The only persons who will receive pay are the persons who actually work for and on the golf course. There will be no payments to owners or shareholders. The directors of RWMGC are citizen volunteers who will receive no pay.
Eventually, RWMGC expects to have excess revenues to help pay for other Red Wing recreational facilities.
Third: RWMGC will operate Red Wing’s municipal golf course for Red Wing citizens.
We will encourage public golf for youths, for local men and women, and for visitors. We are proud to be the home of championship Red Wing High School golf teams. We will promote golf tourism to benefit not only the municipal golf course but benefit other Red Wing businesses. We will promote and operate events for Red Wing citizens at the clubhouse.
Fourth: RWMGC will operate the 400-acre municipal golf course in an ecologically sound and sustainable way.
We will partner with the City for our citizens, golfers, skiers, and hikers. Red Wing's strategic plan calls for preservation and enhancement of all Red Wing's parks and green spaces. RWMGC will preserve and enhance the 400-acre green space of the course for now and for future generations.
Fifth: Red Wing Municipal Golf Corporation has a website where citizens can learn about the organization of, the mission of, and the goals of Red Wing Municipal Golf Corporation. We urge Red Wing citizens to view our website — rwmgc.org — to learn more about us.
John Kjolhaug is president of the Red Wing Municipal Golf Corporation