Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz is planning to reintroduce legislation to fix the city of Austin’s golf courses, which he called “dead.”
“Golf course operators are calling on us to get the golf course industry on board with this proposal,” Cruz told reporters Tuesday, citing the city’s lack of a dedicated management agency and a lack of money for training staff.
The bill Cruz is proposing would allow the city to acquire and operate golf courses for $150 million over 10 years, with the city receiving the majority of the proceeds.
It would also allow the parks department to purchase up to five golf courses at a time, with an annual cap of 10.
Cruz said he would also increase the city council’s oversight of the golf courses.
The golf courses are currently in the hands of Texas Golf Federation, a nonprofit corporation run by two brothers, Kevin and Bill.
They purchased the courses in the 1980s and later sold them to the city.
In 2008, Austin voters approved a $20 million bond measure to help pay for the repairs.
The two brothers have since been forced to sell the land they own to the federal government, which will pay for all the repairs on the properties.
The city has received about $6 million in federal money since 2009 for the golf facilities.
But the city is still struggling to manage them, as the state has a strict rules that require the city manager to hire a manager to manage the parks and golf courses while they are being managed by the federation.
In 2017, the city spent more than $8 million on the project.
It is currently paying $2 million per year for staff, according to city documents.