Sebastian County Quorum Court approves controversial golf cart lease program

At Tuesday’s (July 15) meeting of the Sebastian County Quorum Court, the Court approved on a third vote by a tally of seven to six an ordinance that would have the county enter into a lease for golf carts at a cost of more than $32,000 per year.

The lease will provide the county with 70 new golf carts for use at Ben Geren Golf Course for four years, at which time either another lease or a purchase of golf carts will take place if approved by the court.

The lease had drawn scorn from Justice of the Peace Shawn Looper, who suggested that the lease of golf carts out of the general fund was cheating other departments out of pay raises and needed capital expenditures, such as patrol cars in the sheriff's department.

Looper said the annual payments of $32,477 to replace the fleet are irresponsible considering the number of rounds played at the golf course have steadily dropped since 2007.

"Since 2007, the number of golfers, the number of rounds has gone down 30%, so I'm not sure why you need that number of golf carts," Looper said prior to Tuesday’s meeting.