Duluth’s Enger Park and Lester Park golf courses will be under new management when they reopen this year.

The Duluth City Council unanimously approved a contract Monday that will put Billy Casper Golf in charge of the municipal golf courses for the next five years.

The city will pay the Vienna, Va.-based firm $10,000 per month for its services.

For its part, Billy Casper will put up $250,000 to pay for capital improvements at Enger Park Golf Course. The city will repay the company for its investment at a rate of $4,167 per month.

If the new management team can turn around the money-losing courses, Billy Casper will be allowed to pocket 22 cents of every dollar of profit it books.

Last week, 4th District Councilor Howie Hanson questioned whether the deal was excessively generous to an out-of-town firm.

But David Montgomery, Duluth’s chief administrative officer, defended the contract terms, explaining that they create a strong incentive to stem the financial bleeding the city has endured in recent years at its municipal golf course operations.

Despite the concerns he raised earlier, Hanson on Monday never pulled a resolution approving the contract from the City Council’s consent agenda. Consequently, the contract was approved without any further discussion.

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