Commissioners Present: Rob Harris (Chair), Jim Ehrhart (Vice Chair), Cindy Bingham, Anne O'Connell, Ed Pavlu, Marc Fontaine, Jeff Odell.
Others Present: Mark O'Brien (Director of Golf Operations), Herb Montgomery (FinCom Liaison), plus several in the audience.
Call to Order: Rob Harris called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.
Association Reports and Public Comment:
Approval of minutes:
Several needed corrections were noted by Cindy Bingham regarding the October 8, 2013 meeting minutes. Jim Ehrhart made a motion, seconded by Anne O’Connell, to approve the minutes as amended. Motion approved 7-0-0.
A correction was noted by Cindy Bingham regarding the October 22, 2013 meeting minutes. Jim Ehrhart made a motion, seconded by Anne O’Connell, to approve the minutes as amended. Motion approved 7-0-0.
Steve Mann was absent and he submitted not report. Jim Ehrhart asked if Steve Mann had gathered any information regarding the maintenance staffing levels of the other Cape municipal courses. Mark O’Brien said he had and reported the following:
Dennis Golf Courses (36 holes): Supt. – 0.5; Full time – 7; Seasonal – 6; Summer – 14; Total 27.5
Harwich (18 holes): Supt. – 1; Full time – 5; Seasonal – 3; Summer – 3; Total 12
Barnstable: (36 holes): Supt. – 1; Full time – 8; Seasonal – 6; Summer – 10; Total 25
Yarmouth (45 holes): Supt. – 1; Full time – 8; Seasonal – 16; Summer – 8; Total 33
Captains (36 holes): Supt. – 1; Full time – 8; Seasonal – 5; Summer – 12; Total 26
Definitions for above: Full time – 52 weeks/yr.; Seasonal – 32 to 40 weeks/yr.; Summer – 25 or fewer weeks/yr.
Director of Operations’ Report (Mark O’Brien):
- The financials for October were reviewed. Weather was good and revenues are up.
- Mark O’Brien reported that he has no update on a lightning detection system other than to say that he will include it on the capital plan developed this winter and follow up with Town counsel. He does not believe it will be too expensive as we have a lightning detection system to protect the irrigation system so we would just need to install alarm horns on the course.
- Mark O’Brien reported that he was not able to identify any additional expense savings for this current fiscal year beyond the projected reduction in the maintenance part-time wage line item. In addition, he does not foresee any additional cost savings in FY2015 beyond what he originally projected.
- Herb Montgomery asked if we were investigating the possibility of privatizing the maintenance operations. Mark O’Brien stated that he has had preliminary discussions with Charlie Sumner regarding this matter, but it would be a long process and require impact bargaining with the union.
- Marc Fontaine asked about changing the maintenance staff work schedules in order to reduce overtime. Mark O’Brien stated he would work on this with the new superintendent when he/she is hired.
- Cindy Bingham asked about reducing maintenance staffing through attrition. Mark O’Brien stated he would look at that as vacancies occur, but does not anticipate anyone leaving in the immediate future other than the superintendent, and the intention is to fill that position.
2014 Fee Schedule:
- Ed Pavlu said he leaned toward the proposal that Anne O’Connell had put forward at a previous meeting about having an assessment for the members as a means to reduce the golf deficit.
- Marc Fontaine stated that since there were no anticipated expense reductions that we should raise AFP rates to reduce the golf deficit to the Town.
- Jim Ehrhart stated that he would like to see an assessment to AFPs based on the amount they played.
- Jeff Odell stated that he would be concerned if the AFP resident rate approached the non-resident rates of the other town courses.
- Rob Harris presented a proposal of $1,100 for the “Early” resident AFP rate, and keeping the other AFP rates the same. His analysis projects that this proposal would result in “breakeven” operations for the golf course through 2020, while resulting in higher balances maintained in the Golf Cart Receipts Reserved for Appropriation account.
- Jeff Cassidy asked, what is the advantage of paying a higher AFP fee if there are no more additional AFP tee times? Rob Harris responded that the assumption is that there would be fewer people paying the higher rate and therefore less competition for early tee times. In addition, based on the tee time allocation formula, if the AFP revenue is increased, it may result in a larger number of AFP tee times.
- Jeff Odell then had a concern of what the impact of fewer guest times would be on green fee revenue.
- Cindy Bingham reminded the Commission that at the October 8 Golf Commission meeting, Selectmen Ben DeRuyter stated that the Selectmen have not issued a directive for the Golf department to breakeven, but rather make an effort to reduce the golf deficit. Cindy also stated that she does not like the idea of creating a private course within a public course, i.e. the higher rate members being separated from the rest of the membership.
- Cindy Bingham presented a proposal developed by her and Anne O’Connell. This proposal was broken down into two sections:
A. Proposed New/Modified Memberships for FY2014:
1st Time New Non-Resident: $1,200
Estimate 5 @ $1,200 $6,000 additional revenue
Non-Resident Twilight: $599
Estimate 10 @ $599 $5,990 additional revenue
Resident Collegiate (19-25 y/o): $350
Estimate 15 @ $175*: $2,625 additional revenue
Non-Resident Collegiate (19-25 y/o): $500
Estimate 2 @ $250* $ 500 additional revenue
Projected additional revenue $15,115
*(increase over current rate)
B. Assessment Plan
Original 2014 projected deficit: $114,000
30% reduction from expenses: $ 34,200
70% revenue from membership: $ 79,800
* Implement New/Modified memberships: $ 79,800
Revised 70% Member portion $ 64,685
* All other 2013 membership rates remain in effect.
Membership #s from July 2013.
* Assess AFPs either: Full Assessment $75
Partial Assessment $37
* Full Assessment for: Residents 667
Charter Non-res 6
821 x $75 = $61,575
* Partial Assessment for: Twilight 48
All Juniors 45
93 x $37 = $ 3,441
* Revised membership portion of deficit: $64,685
Full Assessment $61,575
Partial Assessment $ 3,441
.005% Surplus $ 331
- Marc Fontaine suggested having a compromise plan combining and increased fee with an assessment. He also suggested moving the association block times.
- Jeff Odell asked about the 9-Hole Women’s Association making their handicap requirement lower. Anne O’Connell informed him that this was not the case.
- Mark O’Brien floated the idea of having a $2 per round surcharge for member play and having a slight increase in the Early AFP rate. This would generate approximately $70,000 per year.
- Jim Ehrhart made a motion to increase the Early resident AFP rate from $850 to $900 and keep the other AFP rates the same, and have a $2/round surcharge for 18-hole member rounds and a $1/round surcharge fro 9-hole member rounds. The motion was seconded by Anne O’Connell. Discussion followed. Jeff Odell made a motion to amend this motion by adding section A of Cindy and Anne’s proposal above(excluding the New Non-Resident $1,200 rate). This amended motion was seconded by Jim Ehrhart. Discussion followed regarding increasing the Early rate more than $50 and having a $5 surcharge for play before 9:00 a.m. and $2 after 9:00 a.m.
- After much discussion, Jim Ehrhart withdrew his original motion and Jeff Odell withdrew his amended motion.
- It was decided to postpone further discussion on this topic until December 3rd.
- Cindy Bingham asked if Mark O’Brien could find out the number of rounds played before 9:00 a.m. he said he would get that information.
A motion to adjourn was made by Jim Ehrhart, seconded by Cindy Bingham, passed 7-0-0. meeting adjourned at 6:35 p.m.
Mark O’Brien, Director of Operations