Bibb commissioners add 10 percent 'facility fee' to instructors at Bowden Golf Course

Commissioners add fee for Bowden teachers

One golf instructor says he won't teach lessons at the Bowden Golf Course because the county wants a share of what he makes.

At a committee meeting Tuesday morning, Bibb County Commissioners approved an amendment that will make instructors pay a 10 percent "facility fee" to the county for using their golf course.

But there was much debate before the amendment was passed. 

"I think we have a real opportunity here not only to stabilize, but to grow Bowden, and I think there is a strong sentiment around the table to do that," said Commissioner Mallory Jones. 

Commissioner Jones presented a resolution Tuesday morning that would allow Central Georgia Golfer Jim Hickman to teach lessons at the course for $40 an hour and promote the course for free. 

"Jim Hickman loves Bowden Golf Course," said Jones. 

But then Commissioner Gary Bechtel introduced an amendment that would require Hickman, or anyone else who wants to teach at the course, to pay a 10 percent "facility fee."

"The use of the facility, our facility, a Macon-Bibb County taxpayer facility, there needs to be fee for the use of it," says Bechtel. 

Commissioner Elaine Lucas agreed.

"I do think that 10 percent is a reasonable amount to add because we are using a public facility," says Lucas. 

But Commissioner Jones pleaded that the facility fee isn't necessary.

"Let's not blow the opportunity and insult somebody by charging a rinky-dink 10 percent fee," says Jones. 

Commissioners passed the amendment at the end of the meeting.

WMAZ spoke to Jim Hickman on the phone Tuesday afternoon, and he verified that he would not be accepting the position at Bowden.

He says that he's never had to pay a fee to teach lessons at a course, and he plans to take his services elsewhere. 

County spokesperson Chris Floore says the commissioners will now continue to discuss how to attract more golfers to the Historic Bowden Golf Course.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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