Commissioners Present: Anne O’Connell (Chair), Andrea Johnson (Vice-Chair), Carl Blanchard, Jeff Odell, Wyn Morton, and John Kissida. Dave Valcourt was absent.
Others Present: Mark O’Brien (Director of Golf Operations), Peter Ervin (Superintendent), Bill Meehan (Fin Comm. Liaison), Paige Ferraguto (Women’s 18-Hole Assn.), Bill O’Brien (CCMGA), and Rob Harris.
This meeting was held at the Town Hall and was televised. The video of the meeting may be viewed at: https://view.earthchannel.com/PlayerFlex.aspx?PGD=brewsterma&eID=1913
Call to Order: Anne O’Connell called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.
- Anne O’Connell announced that Town meeting is on Monday, November 18th and there is an article regarding the plastic bottle ban, which impacts the Captains restaurant concession.
Correspondence and Suggestion Box:
- There was one unsigned suggestion to have more portable toilets on the course.
Update on Solar Canopy Project:
- Jeff Odell reported the selectboard voted to go forward allowing Peter Lombardi to sign the contracts when they are finalized.
Superintendent’s Report (Pete Ervin):
- The irrigation system is being shut down within the next four days. Due to the rain water usage is under the total for the year. Product purchasing and planning is underway for the upcoming season. Drainage is the big project for the fall. OSHA practices will be put in place, making a safer workplace. Pete and Tom Flynn are on a safety committee and will be writing safety procedures to cover involvement in all town jobs. Discussion followed regarding water usage.
Director of Operations Report (Mark O’Brien):
- October was a very poor month due to the weather.
- Captains lost the Commissioners Cup Tournament for the second year in a row. The ladies did very well, the men did not. The turkey shoot is coming up on Saturday which closes out the tournaments for the year.
- Discussion followed regarding the golf reserve account balance.
- The calendar for next year was discussed.
- John Kissida made a motion to approve the calendar as presented, seconded by Wyn Morton. The motion was approved 6-0-0.
- All of the part-time staff will be laid off after Thanksgiving, leaving four employees on the pro shop side. The 32-weeker have been laid off on the maintenance side.
Golf Reserve Account Balance Future Strategy:
- John Kissida distributed a diagram that he worked on with Dave Valcourt and Mark O’Brien, outlining the short term strategies, mid-term strategies and long term strategies. Discussion followed.
- Anne O’Connell asked for a review of the reserve account under various scenarios.
- Mark O’Brien distributed two spreadsheets: one projecting our final FY20 reserve balance if we did nothing with rates (this resulted in a negative balance of $42,082); the other projecting offering a two-year membership option (this resulted in a positive balance of $95,809)
- Mark O’Brien’s two-year membership proposal assumes that the two-year membership would be offered at the 2019 rate for both 2020 and 2021. Those that paid one year at a time would incur a 5% increase over the 2019 rates.
- Offering a “cart card” was discussed which offers a discount for a volume purchase of cart rounds. This is another strategy to bring FY21 revenue forward into FY20.
- Rob Harris suggested that we telegraph that rates will most likely be increased in 2021. He also stated the need for a refund policy for this program.
- Rob Harris suggested we may wish to not do this two-year membership program as it will have a cost associated with it, but rather ask the Finance Committee for a reserve fund transfer to cover any shortfall.
- Bill Meehan stated that the Finance Committee would most likely not be in favor of a reserve fund transfer. He is of the opinion that the plan suggested is a good plan and would be well received by the Finance Committee.
- Wyn Morton suggested beefing up our advertising program. Mark O’Brien stated that more dollars will be allocated to advertising in the FY21 budget.
- Mark O’Brien will send out a survey to the membership to get the pulse of the members in regard to how many would be likely to opt for the two-year membership. The Commission will finalize a proposal at the December 10, 2019 Golf Commission meeting to be recommended to the Select Board.
Review and Approve Minutes:
- Jeff Odell made a motion to approve the Golf Commission minutes of October 8, 2019 as written, seconded by Carl Blanchard. Motion approved 6-0-0.
Future Agenda Items:
- Vacation short term membership
- $20 off if for next-day play
- Club storage
- Discount club for pro shop merchandise
- Loyalty rewards for frequent purchases in pro shop
- Seeking out more tournament events
- Raise fees except for juniors by the end of April
- Raise $74 green fees to $77
The golf commission is scheduled to present rates proposals to the Select Board on December 16.
Topics the Chair did not reasonably anticipate:
- Rob Harris discussed various aspects and conditions of rate changes.
- Bill Meehan from the finance committee commented on the previous discussions.
Wyn Morton made a motion, seconded by John Kissida to adjourn the meeting. The motion was approved 6-0-0. The meeting was adjourned at 6:01 p.m.