REGULAR MEETING OF FEBRUARY 5, 2008
COUNCIL CHAMBERS MIDLAND CITY HALL
Meeting called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman John Rothhaar
MEMBERS PRESENT: Rothhaar, Allen, Altimore, Berthiaume, Dauer, Jurado, Martin
MEMBERS ABSENT: Kelley, Plotzke
Minutes of January 14, 2008
Martin moved, Dauer seconded, to receive minutes of the meeting of January 14, 2008. Motion passed 7-0.
Call to Audience
Chairman Rothhaar made a call to audience to determine if members of the audience had any issues other than what was on the agenda, and to get an idea of how many people had comments relating to Golf Course Fees as opposed to other fees.
Public Hearing on Recreation Fees
Chairman Rothhaar opened the public hearing on recreation fees at 7:27 p.m.
Summary of Public Comments
Citizen 1: No problem with rates just let the Golf Manager do his jobs. He likes the idea of grills at the clubhouses. Need to do a better job of maintenance and get the course back in shape.
Citizen 2: A long time player believes course needs better promotion. Thinks a professional CPA or Financial planner should be hired to market the course.
Citizen 3: Feels that all season passes should be eliminated. What about selling 10 round pass for an 8 round price?
Citizen 4: Don’t raise the rate. Make better use of the clubhouse (restaurant, etc.) The maintenance crew is understaffed. The floodplain issue is a big point. Why does the flood clean-up costs fall on the course maintenance staff and budget. Have other departments do it. Also the irrigation system is a problem with zebra mussels.
Citizen 5: Thinks course should be marketed through the Loons ball club. The number of un-paid players were minimal this year. As for the West course number 17 drainage issue, the maintenance crew did a good job but it really should have fallen back on the architect. 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday is the time to look at bringing outside golfers in.
Citizen 6: Course has a slow play reputation. We need to train golfers to follow rules and then do a better job enforcing them. Drainage is still a major issue on the West course.
Citizen 7: Why raise rates when we’re not filling up the course. Need to make recreation affordable.
Citizen 8: Report was well done. Course dead times are on weekends – Why? The course needs to be run as a business under one general manager.
Citizen 9: He has seen bad maintenance. Sticks have been mowed into the greens. He believes the course has poor customer service. Would not like to see us do away with Twilight play.
Citizen 10: Keep Twilight play.
Citizen 11: Currie is a great facility for this town. The maintenance staff does a good job. Should look at a public/private association for the golf course. Market it for golfers by golfers.
Citizen 12: Keep the Twilight rate. The price on weekends, especially Sunday’s is not competitive.
Citizen 13: City should relinquish managing the golf course.
Citizen 14: Currie West is a great course. Don’t make it comparable to other courses as far as rates. Keep it blue collar as it was envisioned.
Citizen 15: How much money did the course make after July 1st?
Citizen 16: He doesn’t believe the city knows what caused the financial problem. How can it be fixed if we don’t know the problem? Solve the problem first before raising rates. He also commented that the maintenance at the new Civic Arena was a problem.
Commissioner Martin posed a question to the audience
“Why aren’t there any younger golfers here”?
Citizen 1 responds: We have a good junior golf program, but he feels we should have more tournaments and opportunities for the golf pro to get out on the course with younger players.
Citizen 11 replies: Agrees our junior golf program is good, but noted that youth golf is down all over.
Commissioner Allen asked Citizen 11: “After all the golf he has played at different courses, does he feel Currie a good value”?
Citizen 11: “Yes it is and it has outstanding potential.
Citizen 17: If you raise fee’s you’ll loose seniors and people on fixed incomes.
Chairman Rothhaar closed the public hearing at 8:40 p.m.
Motion by Dauer, seconded by Martin to table voting on fees to a later date.
It was pointed out to the Commission by Assistant City Manager Jack Duso and chairman Rothhaar that to do so would mean there could be no further discussion of this topic until another meeting was convened.
Motion was voted on and defeated 0-7.
Motion to approve fee recommendations made by staff was made by Berthiaume, seconded by Jurado.
Commissioner Martin asked Assistant City Manager Jack Duso to discuss the courses financial history.
Jack displayed the expense/revenue chart and financial analysis graph and explained these to the commission. It was pointed out that this is not an overnight problem.
Commissioner Martin asked if the Finance Director could attend a future meeting to go into more detail on non-operating Revenues and Miscellaneous expenses.
Commissioner Allen asked what the target number was for the course working capitol.
Commissioner Martin asked why the golf course fund could not run on a calendar year budget cycle instead of a fiscal year cycle. There are city charter issues as well as state issues for auditing.
Chairman Rothhaar asked for regular updates on course issues at future meetings.
Commissioner Allen praised staff’s efforts on putting together the fee recommendations.
Commissioner Altimore brought up the point that very little discussion from the audience tonight was on actual fees. He voiced a concern that if a stance is not taken now on fees, in a few years the course will be in very serious trouble.
Chairman Rothhaar stated that he did not feel the fee recommendations made by staff were outrageous.
Commissioner Dauer raised concerns that we would raise rates before fixing the course.
Chairman Rothhaar stated that raising the fees and fixing the course problems as we can at the same time did not seem unreasonable.
The Commission voted on the Motion. Motion passed 6-1.
Old businesses: None
Commissioner Juardo asked that the quality of Ice at the Civic Arena be put on a future agenda for a project update.
Motion to adjourn by Martin, seconded by Jurado.
Meeting adjourned at 9:39 p.m.