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), Jim Foley (Selectmen Liaison), Herb Montgomery (FinCom Liaison), Judy McCarthy (18-Hole Women’s Association).
Call to Order: Rob Harris called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.
- Judy McCarthy reported that the Women’s 18-Hole Association raised money from various tournaments this year for: We Can; The Cuda Health center; and the Outer Cape Food Pantry. She also stated that 5 of their members will not be returning next year; three are moving away and two are over 90 years old.
- Anne O’Connell reported that the Women’s 9-Hole Association is putting out a survey to see if their association members would be interested in using the Family Tees.
Approval of minutes:
A motion to approve the minutes of August 13, 2013 was made by Jim Ehrhart, seconded by Jeff Odell, motion passed 7-0-0.
Superintendent's Report: Steve Mann prepared the following report, submitted in his absence:
Course conditions: Getting better! Aerified greens, tees, and fairways, sometimes the whole fairway and not all fairways were aerified. Any area that was aerified was then overseeded and fertilized. This process will happen again at the scheduled time 9-9 and 9-17-13. Again all will be aerified, fertilized and seeded. We are making progress with the recovery but is or seems slow. The areas that we have done are growing very quickly and are trying to fill in. Rain fall has been on the short side this last month, but very helpful and mostly good timing.
I did some checking with the “other “golf courses (comments made from the last meeting) to see what they have done differently than what we have done through the month of August. Most have started the aerification process a bit earlier but the biggest difference was the amount of rainfall. Some courses had 7-8 inches less rain than we did during that same time frame. Barnstable for example received 11 inches vs. our 18 inches. That’s a big difference!!
Some of our areas that are not recovering or seem dry are the crane fly areas. We will be going after them very soon. We are waiting for the next adult generation to emerge before we attempt to control them, probably in the next couple of weeks.
Aerification with the other towns went well at Cranberry Golf Course. We aerified 13 fairways in less than 3 hours!! We will be here on the 9th of Sept. trying it again with the help from Harwich and Dennis.
Most of the summer help have gone back to school. We do have 5 remaining, until mid to late October, but due to other circumstances we are two/three short for this time of year. We did advertise for the open positions and got one. Probably not worth trying to advertise again due to the short time they would work (mid Oct.)
One other note, I talked with Charlie Sumner and Susan Leven about creating two artificial wetlands to help mitigate our rinse water that comes from washing our equipment. Basically what this does is cleans up the waste products from the washing process and through a series of constructed beds. The end product is clean water moving back into the aquifer. There is some maintenance involved but it should be minimal throughout the years. This project might even reach the warrant this fall. This would be a Town article not a golf article. Estimated cost with engineering $50,000.00. This type of project will help mitigate the nitrogen loading that we have been working on. It could save the Town more money in the mitigation process with the State by reducing the nitrogen load and other waste products including grease, oils and pesticides. I think with this type of planning for the future may go along way with FinCom especially after what Dennis Hanson commented on at the last meeting.
The committee to advise the Cape Cod Commission has voted to go ahead with the plan with reduced or eliminate nitrogen for Cape Cod. There is still more meetings to come, but our position has taken a big hit for the detriment of all. This doesn’t look good. Golf courses and landscape business may not have such stringent regs but not certain at this time. The home owner will be the hardest hit. This seems to be a very emotion issue. Again not much of what is being said about the science of the matter is being listened to. The biggest hurdle to all of this seems to be the leachate rate of nitrogen. The commission is standing by the 20% when it should be closer to less than 10%. I will keep you posted.
Director of Golf Operations Report: Mark O'Brien
A member made a request for a refund or a credit of his AFP fee due to an injury. The request was received after June 30, 2013 so the Commission did not grant the request.
Mark O’Brien gave an update on the marketing efforts. Public Relations has included an Open House this past spring, numerous press releases, newspaper and magazine articles placed, column in the Cape Codder, and Facebook postings. The advertising campaign has included radio spots that ran through August on WFCC, WQRC, Ocean 104.7, WXTK, and WEEI. We are currently running some unpaid promotional radio spots through a barter program. We are also running a “Paperclick” program through Gate House Media that leads customers to a special phone number to us through the search engines. This is trackable and is proving to be very successful.
Financial Presentation: Mark O'Brien
After a sluggish July, August was a strong month with combined green fee and cart revenue exceeding last year by $23,824. Total revenues for the fiscal year are up by $22,315 over last year. Unfortunately, September is off to a poor start with a cloudy/rainy Labor Day weekend.
Restaurant Update & RFP Process: Mark O’Brien
Mark O’Brien reported that Joe Jamiel of Ardeo’s has been contracted to run the restaurant through the end of this year. We will need to go out to bid for a restaurant vendor for the period beginning January 1st. Mark O’Brien will prepare a bid package using the last bid package and changing the appropriate dates, rounds played, past restaurant revenues, etc. It was felt that we should have a committee of three Golf Commissioners, one representative from each of the associations, and Mark O’Brien to review the proposals from vendors. Rob Harris will submit this committee to the Selectmen for their approval. The goal is to have a new vendor selected by January 1st.
Capital Improvement Article for Fall Town Meeting:
Mark O’Brien reviewed the capital articles for Golf that are on the Fall Town Meeting warrant. The first is $400,000 for course repairs. The request will be to float a bond for eight years. The course repairs includes $200,000 for sink hole repair, $170,000 for tee repair, and $30,000 for cart path repair. Cindy Bingham requested that the red tees on Starboard 11 and 14 and Port 6 and 7 be included in the tees for repair. Jeff Odell requested that the cart path on Starboard 15 be included in the cart path repairs.
The other article we have on the warrant is $15,000 for a new driving range vehicle. The current vehicle is not in good condition and was out of service for good part of the summer.
Jim Ehrhart made a motion, seconded by Ann O’Connell to support the warrant articles as proposed above. Motion approved 7-0-0.
Discussion of Fee Schedule for 2014:
Mark O’Brien stated that he expects to propose a rate schedule for daily fee players with no changes from the 2013 fees.
A discussion for annual fee player rates followed. It was felt that some guidance from the Selectmen was necessary for this discussion. Jim Foley stated that he would propose that the Selectmen provide a directive in this regard when the Golf department meets with the Selectmen this Monday. It would be his recommendation that the directive be for the Golf department to “break even”. It was also felt that when the AFP rates are discussed it should be as an entire package including tee time allocation, reservation procedures, etc.
A Golf Commission meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 to discuss rates further.
Discussion of tee time assignments for member tournaments:
Cindy Bingham brought up the fact that “Morning” members were allowed to play in the Captains Invitational which was played before 9:00 a.m. on a weekend in September. She did not think this was right in light of the fact that “Morning” members were not allowed to play in the Women’s 18-Hole Association member-member tournament in August because it was played prior to 9:00 a.m. Mark O’Brien explained that the Captains Invitational is a “club” event and not an association event, even though it is sponsored by the CCMGA. He stated that this is the “club’s” member-guest tournament and is open to all members of the course. The policy allows for “Morning” members to participate in all “club” events. The Selectmen made it a requirement that only those members that paid the “Early” or “Non-Resident” AFP fee were allowed to play in the Association block times in July and August. It was decided to discuss this further when the entire AFP program is discussed.
Topics the Chair did not anticipate:
Jim Ehrhart reported that Charlie Sumner is still trying to set up a meeting with Bill Marsh, the developer of the residential project adjacent to the Starboard 7th hole. They have not been able to touch base as yet.
Meeting adjourned at 5:32 p.m.
Mark O’Brien, Director of Operations