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Government

Wichita Park Board Putting MacDonald Golf Course Up For Sale

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Months after receiving an unsolicited proposal to buy MacDonald Golf Course, the Wichita Park Board is officially putting the course up for sale.

A request for proposals is expected to go out later this week. The board is seeking a buyer who will maintain MacDonald as a public golf course, and honor an agreement to allow the youth golf program First Tee to locate there.

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KMUW
Wichita Park Board members listen during a special meeting last week to discuss sending out a request for proposals for MacDonald Golf Course.

The planned sale was prompted by a proposal earlier this year from developer Johnny Stevens to buy the 146-acre course in central Wichita. The board says it hadn't considered selling MacDonald before then.

Park and Rec director Troy Houtman says selling could be a good option to help fill a deficit in the city's golf enterprise fund. MacDonald, one of the oldest of the city's five courses, lost about $134,000 last year.

But the Golf Advisory Committee says it wants time to come up with other proposals for how to fill that deficit. During a special meeting last week, committee member Richard Schodorf told the board the GAC plans to give the board a "drill-down number" about the golf system.

"I think we can get you a proposal that will allow you to look at it on a go-forward basis to see whether or not the sale of MacDonald is a good idea," he said. "I don't think we know right now."

The RFP would close on Nov. 23, and the board wants to have an initial selection and begin negotiations by Dec. 10.

MacDonald would be the second course the city removes from its golf system: Officials voted earlier this year to close Clapp Golf Course in southeast Wichita.

Follow Nadya Faulx on Twitter @NadyaFaulx. To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.