City Council hears concerns about golf course carts, lack of lighting

City Council has agreed to the purchase of a new set of carts for the Rock Creek Golf Course on Historic Route 66, while at the same meeting, hearing from a citizen concerned about the lack of lighting at the golf course.

At Monday, February 6th’s Sapulpa City Council meeting, the City Council heard from City Manager Joan Riley and Golf Manager David McBride on the need to upgrade the city’s fleet of golf carts.

In 2018, the City of Sapulpa agreed to take on the expense of purchasing 50 new Yamaha golf carts to the tune of $175,000. At the time, the City chose to lease them instead of purchasing them, believing that the trade-in value would make purchasing easier the next time.

A new batch of 70 carts, plus one hospitality cart, will cost an estimated $310,000, but when offset by the trade-in value of $144,000, the total comes down to $166,350. Joan Riley called the decision a “no-brainer.”

The City is pushing to go with a different vendor this time around, saying that the Yamaha carts were fine, but extremely difficult to get serviced.

“You can have a great cart, but if you don’t have anybody who can fix something, it doesn’t matter,” McBride said. “We put in an order on October 7th for 10 or 11 carts to be worked on, and they still have not been out, and it’s February.”

Alternatively, the City’s chosen vendor, E-Z-GO, has a 48-hour guarantee in order to have a technician on site. “So within 48 hours, they have got to be onsite as a service rep,” McBride told the City Council. “Right now, with Yamaha, they’ve got one guy in the region. And they sold us these really fancy golf carts that were really nice. But now that they’re having issues, and we’re in year four or five, I mean, it’s like we can’t find him.”

City Councilor Brian Stephens said he agreed the time for a replacement was here. “I realized that they said that the golf cart life spans four to five years.” He followed up with a question, “Is there any way that we can figure out how to take better care of our golf carts?”

City Attorney David Widdoes chimed in, “Is there even enough room?”

McBride concurred, “We’ll have to do something with the alleyway…we’ve kind of talked about putting a roof over it…but I’ll tell you, the biggest thing is the cart paths.” He then said that they’re working on a new interface in their point-of-sale system that will track who a cart is assigned to, making it easier to find out who was driving when a cart gets wrecked.

Ultimately, the City Council unanimously agreed to the purchase. Staff is currently seeking quotes from the area’s financial institutions, and those financing alternatives will be available for consideration at the next Council meeting. 

During the public comments portion of the meeting, Leon Longacre stepped forward to address the City Council about another part of the golf course that he believes needs attention: the lighting.

While at a recent men’s breakfast at the golf course, Longacre was involved in a minor accident in the parking lot. He says there was “spotty ice, which you could not see whatsoever due to the absence of light completely at the golf course parking lot.”

Longacre said he attempted to handle things properly, went to City Hall to fill out a report and was told to speak with David McBride. He says that he tried several times, but McBride would not respond almost at all.

“I reached out to Mr. McBride that same day, I called and left a voicemail. I didn’t get an answer. I sent an email and a text message and still didn’t get a response. He responded back one time and said ‘we’ll get together next week.’ the following week I reached out and nothing happened, which brings me here tonight.”

“The lack of lighting is not only a security concern, but it’s definitely a safety concern … this lady that cooks breakfast for us (at the men’s group), she gets there at 5:30, no lighting whatsoever,” Longacre said. “There’s a canned light that doesn’t work, there’s a spotlight with no bulb in it, and there’s a pole light that doesn’t work.”

He finished by saying, “We’re flying an American flag out there 24/7 that doesn’t have a light. That’s a no-no.”

City Council can’t take any action during public comments except to direct the City Manager to take action, and as the meeting adjourned, City Manager Joan Riley and Golf Manager David McBride were making quick gestures to talk the next day, presumably about the comments that had just been made.

The City Council meets the first and third Monday of every month, except where holidays are concerned.