There's Trouble in Hot Springs. And that starts with T, which rhymes with "G" and that stands for "Golf Course"

So far, Legislative Audit has come down on the dealings behind the Hot Springs Golf Course. Followed by the City Council signing a letter demanding the mayor's resignation for his part in it.

And that's been followed by the Mayor filing an open meetings complaint against the council, because he claims it was an unannounced or closed meeting when they allegedly met to sign the
letter asking for his resignation.

And as the Rapid City Journal is reporting today, this saga is continuing to roll on:

The golf-course addition built for the city of Hot Springs looks good and plays well, but it isn’t the golf course the city ordered from the course developer, according to Pat Wyss of Wyss Associates of Rapid City.

Wyss said the golf-course greens and tee boxes are smaller than the specifications in the contract, and the drainage is inadequate. He also questioned some construction costs itemized by builder Steve Simunek.


Earlier this fall, a state audit found that state laws were broken in how the land-swap deal was made. The audit found that the city should have had land in the swap appraised. Simunek said he agreed that appraisals should have been conducted.

Last week, Wyss presented his report outlining a list of problems at the golf course to the Hot Springs City Council.

“They received a very nice golf course, a very playable golf course,” Wyss said Tuesday. “It’s a course they can be very proud of, but they didn’t get what they had contracted for.”

Wyss said the golf course is 25 percent to 35 percent smaller than the contract called for.


Mayor Carl Oberlitner said he was surprised at learning that so much of the course was downsized.

Oberlitner said no one from the city inspected the addition as it was being built. “As far as I was concerned, it was a private project to be turned over to the city. I almost felt like I was trespassing if I went out there,” he said.

The mayor said the city did not conduct a formal evaluation of the course when Simunek turned it over to the city in 2005.


Donald Patitz, a council member who has criticized Oberlitner and the handling of the land swap, said he was not surprised by the Wyss report.
Read all of this article here. And something tells me that we haven't heard the end of things on all this mess.


Anonymous said…
Just think Hot Springs WAS the place were South Dakota's well-to-do went to vacation back in the day.
Anonymous said…
From what I've heard, this is a classic tale of jealousy by some folks in Hot Springs.

Steve Simunek has almost single-handedly revitalized Hot Springs, and made a few dollars along the way. As is always the case, there's a certain faction of the population that automatically hate people who have money.

There's also the typical group of old-timers that don't like the fact that their town is growing.. It's not like it "used to be" in their minds anymore. Apparently they haven't noticed their property value skyrocketing in the meanwhile.
Anonymous said…
As a former golf course superintendent I would have to say that Simunek built a very nice course. Whether or not it lives up to an audit is another story. But don't shy away from going to play golf there. On the back 9 there are a couple holes that you will never forget, bring you camera!

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