The Twin Falls City Council voted Monday to seek to bring on the general manager of Buhl’s country club to manage its city’s golf course.

Steve Meyerhoeffer, an Idaho native, has run the Clear Lakes Country Club since 2000 and was singled out for his flexibility in course management options, including a flat lease of the Twin Falls Golf Club with possible profit sharing.

If negotiations with the city pan out, Meyerhoeffer would replace outgoing city course golf pro Mike Hamblin, who left the job for a similar one at the Blue Lakes Country Club. If negotiations with Meyerhoeffer don’t pan out, the city may begin the process with the search committee’s No. 2 pick, Travis Hofland.

The YMCA was No. 3 on the committee’s list for possible course management, but Councilman Lance Clow said the committee wasn’t very enthusiastic about the organization.

The council will still need to formalize any agreements with Meyerhoeffer or whoever else wins the job.

The council also asked city staff to solicit proposals for a new city pool management company. The YMCA has run the city pool since 2002, which Clow said helped stymie ballooning costs without quite reducing them.

City staff and council members said they have heard interest from Gold’s Gym about taking over the pool management, though they expect more proposals when solicitations go out. A representative from the gym sat through the meeting, but did not speak publicly.

The 7-0 vote to seek management proposals was prefaced by council members saying they couldn’t see how such a search could hurt. There was some reference to the cheaper proposals brought back by PSI Environmental Systems Inc. in a similar situation last year, when its waste management contract expired.

Councilman Will Kezele said he agreed with the competition and that it is the basis of capitalism. But he added that he hoped the city government wouldn’t compete with private enterprise.

“I would hope city government is working to get out of the golf and pool business,” he said, adding that it would be a shame if a city-subsidized pool competed with the owner of the losing proposal.

Nick Coltrain may be reached at ncoltrain@magicvalley.com or at 735-3220.

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