WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
 GOLF OPERATIONS COMMITTEE MEETING

Date: January 14, 2012 

Place: Wilmette Golf Club

Time: 8:30 a.m.

Attendance
Commissioners: Brault, Murdock, Olvany, Benz, Shelley
Staff: Bowen, Eppelheimer, Matchen, Locke, Wilson
Visitors: Noel Jackson, Richard Dood, Courtenay Wood, Alan Rosenfield, Dan Longfellow, Steve Blockson, Dodie Kohl, Bill Brockman, Donald Gow, Danny Healy, Paul Hahn, Tom White, Tom Bonnie, Tom Elia, Bob Geisheker, Bob Westover, Pat McCann, David Kritzler, Fred Watson, Bill Lemieux, Tim Terchek, Tom Lynch, Phil Montross, John K. Winchell, Roger Farrell, Greg Braun, Peter Chadwick, Elizabeth Burton, Sue Salay, Ken Sutchar, Bob Bobesink, Patrick Corr, Larry Lindmark, Bill  Kirby, Robert Beattie; Golf Course Architect Greg Martin

Topics of Discussion

1) Meeting Called to Order
2) Approval of Minutes
3) Communications and Correspondence
4) Recognition of Visitors
5) Golf Course Master Plan Improvement Comparison
6) Public Comment
7) Committee Debate and Comment
8) New Business
9) Adjournment


Discussion/Decisions:

1) The meeting was called to order at 8:30 am.

2) Commissioner Olvany indicated he would like to change some wording on page 3 of the November 2011 minutes to clarify his remarks that although the number of non-resident rounds has dropped last year by 50%, the number of non-resident memberships increased over a period of time. Staff indicated the November meeting minutes would be revised and reviewed for approval at the next Committee meeting.

 3) Under Communications and Correspondence, none were included in the packet  and no comments were received from the visitors or Committee members.

4) Under Recognition of Visitors, President Brault asked if anyone wanted to address the Committee in regard to the Golf Course Master Plan. Tom Bonnie asked if questions would be allowed during the presentation and Committee Chair Brault replied there would first be a presentation of the various course options followed by public comment. After public comment, the Committee will discuss and debate the options without comment.
 
 General Manager/Superintendent Mike Matchen presented a brief slide show of the some of the drainage issues and described the efforts made by staff to handle these issues.

5) Golf Course Master Plan Improvement Comparison: Golf Course Architect Greg Martin stated that after our meeting in November of 2011, the Committee indicated they needed not only to have a blended golf master plan but also a cost/benefit analysis. As a result, much time was spent creating a series of plans from an “as is” or “status quo” option to a full-blown master plan. A number of plans and options were created that represent everything from high-priority and low investment all the way to the master plan which would be the maximum investment. This information being presented tonight are not specific proposals but represent what the investment would provide the Park District (“District”) in terms of how we would prioritize that investment. He then presented and commented on the series of layouts that indicated the scale of the work.

 Improvement Option 1: The areas on #14, #3, #1, #18, #13, and #11would be specifically addressed with underground lateral perforated pipe. There would be no change in grade on the fairways or any of the bunkers. We would provide drainage to the bunkers and limited drainage on but no changes to the bunkers. This option represents the minimal amount of work.  In addition, we would develop green drainage on all of the existing soil verdant.
 
 Improvement Option 2: The focus would be specifically on the main problem areas. There are problems all over this course and Option #2 addresses all of these issues. We would also take two of the greens and rebuild them (holes 6 and hole 16) which have been a fairly significant liability issue. Draining improvements would be added to the existing bunkers, sand would be removed, the new draining would be added, and then replaced with new sand. Also as a part of this, a total of 4,000 linear feet of cart paths would be replaced and all 41 bunkers would be redone. As part of this proposal, there will be a number of new bunkers that would be constructed as part of the greens renovation on 6 and 16. All the other bunkers would get improvements that he’s talked about such as new drainage, new sand, and minimal shaping but nothing dramatic. There will be more bunkers then before but they will be smaller. As can be seen, this comparison plan has become a very involved summary matrix with a lot of moving parts. Essentially what Greg has done is to start with the master plan and reconstruct it based on priority and then followed by costs. Portions of the master plan will be implemented as we move though these options.

 Chair Brault stated the difference between Options 2 and 6 is significant and asked that Greg comment on the difference. Greg explained that each option consists of gradually adding more to the plan and it really depends on specific areas that have the greatest needs which is indicated by being lower in the first few options and then moving all the way up to the master plan which is Option 6.

 Improvement Option 3: This option is where we begin to take some of the areas that were being drained with perforated pipe and start rebuilding the fairways as well as rebuilding some drains. This is also where we’ll be rebuilding all the bunkers per the master plan. It addresses all of the drainage problems.

 Commissioner Olvany asked that when talking about more new greens, what exactly does Greg mean – would it be adding new greens or potential new locations. Greg replied the quick answer is yes. There are 11 soil greens on the course and we are trying to prioritize which ones are the worst and which ones can be moved into certain other options based on priority and need. Those greens would be fully rebuilt although we would also move and adjust them per the master plan.

 Bob Geisheker, 4085 Bunker Lane, stated that he has lived on the 7th tee for about 17 years and with the rains in 2009, the Fire Department had to sandbagged their house and over the last couple of years, he has tried to bunker the water away. It seems that when additional tees and boxes are put down towards the greens, we continue to get a lot of water and had to buy a gigantic pump to keep the water away from the house. He doesn’t know if it is a function of the cart path or the addition of tees but is anything being addressed in this plan to resolve this issue? Greg responded that ultimately we will be able to address those issues and at least help the situation.
 
 Bill Lemieux, 4088 Fairway Drive, stated that water pools between the tee boxes and also in the spring and fall when the snow melts on the cart path that surrounds the tee box on #7 and that never drains. Chair Brault added that the water wants to go in one direction but the tee box is in the way. Commissioner Olvany asked Superintendent Matchen if any other areas on the course were similar to Mr. Geisheker’s situation and he replied that there was an issue on #10 and that was addressed in the fall.

 Improvement Option 4: Greg indicated this option is a progression of what we are trying to do by addressing all drainage problems with linear drainage or regrading, fairways 1,3,4,5,6,8,9,11,13 and 14 would be regraded and have larger tile installed. There are a few areas that we will address with perforated pipe on 2,7,9,10,15,17 and 18. Essentially, this option begins to expand the goals of the plan and includes renovating all of the bunkers and the development of new greens on 10 holes and new tees on 1through 4, 7 through 13 and 16 through 18.
 Greg further explained that the bunker renovation would essentially consist of taking out the entire bunker and re-grading it to provide positive drainage from a topography standpoint which is a 2% minimum grade at the base of the bunker. Also, perforated gravel would be put down in a herringbone fashion to provide additional bunker drainage. In some cases, we would put fabric in the bottom of the bunker which was the intention of the Master Plan and placed it on top of the pipe and then adding sand on top of that which helps to prevent contamination and flooding.

 Greg next showed photos of the bunkers at the Arrowhead Country Club. Commissioner Olvany stated that when talking about renovating a bunker with new sand does that mean some bunkers would get new sand and some would get old sand. Greg replied that option 3 will have some bunker variations but Option 4 will consist of all new bunkers. The bunkers will all have the same kind of sand but the material underneath it, the shape of it, and how it conforms will be different. Option #4 will consist of higher-end sand but the color will still be on the brown side as opposed to white.

 Options 5 and 6: Commissioner Shelly asked what the difference was between Options 5 and 6. Greg replied that Option 6 is an “all-in” plan and improvements included some of the higher specifications for sand and bunkers as well as a privacy fence, renovation of the maintenance area, improvements to the practice range and tee, and other improvements. Essentially they are both master plans although Option 5 does not include some of the items that are in Option 6.

  Commissioner Murdock stated that in several of these options where we are adding existing green drainage to the 11 soil greens, seven of them are 1922 push-ups and the other four were constructed in 1974. It was pointed out that this process was done by an outside contractor who stripped the sod, put in a two-inch tile with a herringbone design, then refilled and actually laid out the sod so that when they put it back on the greens the same piece is in the same spot. Commissioner Olvany stated that while this improves the soil greens it is not the same as the sand greens that within an hour after a heavy rain are still as firm. Putting a number on doing this to a green instead of building a new green would be $25,000 and depending on the amount of additional work it could be anywhere from $140,000 to $180,000.

 Director Wilson reported on the information included in the packet and stated that the Improvement Comparisons on Pages 1 and 3 look similar and shows what we just reviewed and the work that needs to be done. Project Effectiveness on Page 2 shows what Mike Matchen, Jamie Locke and Greg Martin are thinking in terms of each potential scenario. Page 3 also shows what the impact would be of doing these types of projects in phases vs. disruptions related to customer service. Also included in the packet is a detailed spreadsheet of Estimates and Averages that shows the costs and benefits of the different scenarios under the following headings: Option 0 – Status Quo; Option 1 – In-House Improvements (Minimal); Option 2 – In-House Improvements (Maximum); Option 3 – Master Plan In-House Hybrid Light; Option 4 – Master Plan In-House Hybrid Max; Option 5 – Master Plan Light; and Option 6 – Master Plan Maximum. The term “In-house” indicates it would be either Mike’s staff or the District would contract out for the work. Options 3 and 4 are what Mike, Jamie and Greg came up with based on the Committee’s request at the November meeting and are somewhat of a hybrid between Option 2 which was discussed in great detail in November and Options 5 and 6 which had been discussed in the past. There is also a mixture of Park District and Martin Design responsibilities. The top portion of the spreadsheet represents work the Park District would handle and the middle portion of the spreadsheet lists Martin Design’s responsibilities. Then these two areas would combine down to a total project cost which is what the District would need to budget to do the work. Everything in this analysis was created to help in making a decision when it comes to five-year costs, etc. The Incremental Project Cost indicates the cost increase of each option. The Budget Impact category was staffs attempt to estimate the impact in terms of numbers of why and when the course is closed, greens fees, membership revenue, and cart paths. Steve stated that staff began looking at the plan as a two-phase project but also looked at a one-phase scenario and the numbers were very similar. As a result, that is why the budget impact is shown for both one or two phases.

 The Weather Impact heading includes Lost Golf Revenue, Lost Cart Revenue and Future Maintenance Costs. When looking at the first column option, this is what the course is currently experiencing. When moving to the next column you will note that the number of days is reduced based on what we think the effectiveness of the different options would be and how they calculate out in dollars for a five- or ten-year project cost. That is followed by some analysis of incremental costs over what we’re currently paying versus each option related to each other under the headings moving left to right.

 Chair Brault asked in terms of the impact on the closing of the course with one phase or two phases, did Steve concluded that the net effect was the same and Director Wilson replied that it is very similar. If we chose the two-phase option, the course would be closed in the fall of Year One with nine-holes being built, budget-permitting, in the spring around Memorial Day in Year Two. In the fall of Year Two we would shut down the other nine holes. Then those nine holes would open in the spring on Memorial Day of Year Three. In summary, we would be impacting the entire course at nine holes at a time over three years which drives that number. We could close in the fall of Year One and do everything and then open up in Year Two which is a more condensed time.

 Chair Brault stated that in comparison to the cover memo, Option 2 would consist of two years and the course would be closed from September through November and then open up again in the spring. Option 3 would consist of the work being done in two phases over three years. When talking about the greens the course can be closed as late as mid-August but that then increases the risk if you have bad weather in the fall, winter and/or the following spring.

 Chair Brault asked if an analysis had been done that would “hyperload” the work which would consist of working on every hold at one time and require enough equipment to do that work. Greg replied that it would not change the essential dates since you would need to finish your “grassing” of the greens before the second week of September and there is no amount of labor that could make that happen.

 Director Wilson stated that we would prioritize the work so that the greens are done first, then the grass can go in and the crew could continue doing other work that is not as weather-dependent throughout the fall. Greg added that you can start the project later but then your odds of extending construction into the spring go down and it becomes more risky as you move into the spring. As you soon as you start on July 1 you could probably get up and running sooner in the next spring. Again, these are not specific options – they are general directions.

 Greg added that when talking about two years that really means September to December is one year and immediately following the months of January to immediately would be the second year. So effectively, it is really two seasons, not actual years. Chair Brault stated that clarification was important. He also stated that in regard to the cost of the closure, the $1.2 million in lost revenue would be the same whether it’s done in one phase of two years or two phases of three years.

 Commissioner Olvany asked about the Project Effectiveness matrix which was very detailed and what was Greg’s confidence level for these assumptions. Greg replied that the intent was to quickly summarize the differences in each section for each line item in each phase. Superintendent Matchen added that the assumptions were made based on a small portion of the work that we have done in other areas of the course.

 Commissioner Shelly asked how many rain events has the course averaged over one or two inches during a golf season. Superintendent Matchen replied he does have the records and there were probably six rain events this year with that much rain.

6) Public comment: Commissioner Murdock asked for feedback from the audience on three questions: Which of the options do they all personally like. Secondly, since we are talking about spending one-half to five million dollars, what do you think the golfers should pay in regard to higher membership fees or daily fees versus what the Park District would pay as part of their regular capital planning. And thirdly, to the extent would be doing more work that would involve major shutdowns, would he prefer to see a single phase or a two-phase project spread over three seasons.
 Bill Lemieux stated he likes Option #4 since it represents an investment but also a return on investment with lower maintenance costs and fewer days when the course is closed due to rain events as well as having revenue with the golf carts. The increase in user fees is something he has not thought about or analyzed but believes it is realistic to accept the fact that user fees will go up. Also, feedback from the Board is important in terms of these improvements. Thirdly, in regard to phasing, he would ideally like one year but believes that the “three-year plan” is realistic.

 Chair Brault asked and Director Wilson agreed to comment at the end of the analysis on the project costs relative to the earned savings over time relative to status quo. After additional discussion, President Brault summarized by stating that project-wide the cost for Option 3 would be $2.8 million and Option 4 would be $3.3 million. These numbers come from the $1.6 million actual total project.

 Tom White stated he wanted to address the questions that Commissioner Murdock raised. As a resident he feels much more generous to the golf course. As a golfer, he also has options. He thinks the day after the Village bought the course the District should have been planning for this day. He does not think there is an economic burden and that what the golfers pay to play should really be a function of the market. As a resident, he has some appreciation of how golf courses work and in terms of the plan once again this is a business. Pick the best that keeps the course playable and to make sure the water is off the course.

 Tom Lynch stated that with the number of users on the course and doing the project in multiple phases nine years at a time would be a “train wreck”. There would be too many users causing congestion on the nine holes. It should be done in one year so that efficiencies aren’t lost. The golfers have to pay for this and assess the course overall and we also have to consider the cost/benefit. His foursome thinks they would be happy to pay a bit more but not if it exceeds 20% of the current cost.

 Dick Ciccone stated he saw in the July 17th meeting some that some of the commissioners expressed concerns about coming up with a band-aid solution. He then asked Greg when this project would stop being a band-aid solution. Greg stated that what he has learned over the course of deciphering all the numbers that there is a tipping point. This tipping point is when you continue to maximize the investment to fix the problems and issues. Then there is a point after that wherein the dollars you spend do not really pay back and this is close to Option #4.

 Ms. Courteney Wood, current president of the WWGA, along with Ms. Elizabeth Burton, former WWGA President stated their read on the project is that if the shutdown was done on July 1, there would still be two months of play. Then if the following season begins even mid-way through, many of our members who go away to warmer climates would still have three months of play. The other thing to keep in mind in regard to Option #4 is that ultimately there would be lower maintenance costs. Our preference would be Option #4 in one phase.

 Alan Rosenfield, 2311 Lake Avenue, stated he is a long-time resident and golfer at the course. He wanted to know what would happen in regard to fees on the course and if a cost analysis had been done on the options. Also, what would the project do to the cost of rounds and Unlimited Play. Commissioner Murdock replied he didn’t think there was an expectation that the golfers would pay the full amount of the cost of this project. The question is really what portion would be part of the regular maintenance work that the District does and what part would be the enhancement of the golfing experience to which the golfers might contribute. ‘

 Chair Brault stated that they did the analysis and it would not be possible to raise the fees anywhere near enough to pay for the whole project. He added that the same Commissioners on the Golf Committee are also on the Financial Planning Committee and they have been looking at these options and assessing the potential capital requirement and how to handle the funding. It has been a process as the plan and the options became clearer and then trying to narrow everything it down to an ultimate conclusion.

 Pat McCann, 617 Hunter stated he agrees that Option #4 makes the most sense for both the golfers and for the practicality of getting the water off the course which would result in reducing the amount of days the course is closed. From a financial standpoint it looks as though for a relatively small amount of increased dollars compared to Option #3 we would have a significantly improved golfing experience for those of us who play a lot. In addition, competitively it would put the course in position to draw many outside rounds. He does not want to lose sight of the fact that we want to keep the course top-notch which Option #4 does include from an engineering standpoint. He agrees that the project be done in one phase as opposed to closing it for three consecutive seasons. In regard to fee Increases, he believes it is a function of the marketplace but if the golfers have a superior experience, maybe we could charge $22 or $23 and still be competitive.

 Chair Brault stated the golf survey indicated $50 would be the breakpoint whether we do the improvements or not since it is still a function of the competitive market. Mr. McCann responded that the onus would be on the District to pay for it since the course is a prime asset. If the District does a major capital improvement, he would expect that fees would increase. He also thinks the District has the opportunity and the responsibility to make a significant capital improvement on this course.

 Cary Haskins stated if the District decides to go with Option #4, we would still have a far better golf course and people will pay the extra fee especially since the course is so close to the expressway. Also, the Winnetka and Glenview Golf Courses also have their own problems. When looking at our competition, this course will be far superior to any of those courses.

 Ken Sutchar, 6136 N. Ozark, stated he has been playing golf at Wilmette for 25 years. He asked that the plan include some kind of sound barrier to the east of the 13th hole since there is a “rock crushing” facility that runs non-stop. He thinks that the most important part of playing golf is the serenity of the course and he can’t hear anything from the moment he gets out on the course until he’s done playing. He would be willing to pay extra money to build a 20-foot high wooden fence which would help a lot. He feels that this would be the most important change that needs to be made on the course. He then described some other areas of the course that need improvement such as the 16th tee box, moving the trap left of #5, and the hard cart paths when the ball hits them – maybe use small wood chips for the cart paths although Mike Matchen has indicated the chips get caught up in the machines.

 Noel Jackson, 3306 Hartzell Evanston, stated he now plays 100 rounds a year and prefers Option #4 since he thinks that’s the most doable. He is okay with incremental costs now since every course seems to have them. He would also prefer one phase and that the project start sooner rather than the later.

 David Kritzler, 1733 Lake Avenue, stated he thinks that Option #4 would be the best option for the course. The design makes for a better golf course for both men and women with high handicaps. When talking about modernization, the goal is to make the course better and more playable. If the drainage work isn’t done now the chances of doing it in the future are slim. He is conflicted about have the course shut down for a year in two phases but understands why it would be done that way. He also thinks that a golf course that drains better will have more play and there will be more play on the days after the course reopens when people can’t play with a cart so you’ll have both the revenue from cart use and more play. Most importantly people recognize that improvements cost money. Keep the course faster and with a course that drains properly, it will be a great opportunity for the community and for Wilmette.

 Commissioner Murdock commented on the loss of customers and/or shutdowns and how to deal with those issues. Director Wilson responded that in regard to the two-phase option, staff had talked about a two-year membership if work on the first phase begins in 2014, you could buy your pass which is good through the end of 2015 when you could get benefit of a golf season before we put shovels in the ground. Then we could be ready to go when the course opens up. In other words it would be more than one full season for the price of one.

 Tom Elia, 1440 Sheridan, stated driving range revenue could be enhanced if some type of lighting is installed on the driving range which now can only be used until evening. He has been led to believe that there’s low level lighting available instead of the giant towers and maybe some someone who knows anything about lighting can provide some information.

 Danny Healy, non-resident, stated that as far as phasing is concerned, he also is in favor of Option #4 and to shut the course down for those months.

 An individual attending the meeting asked how has the District paid for other capital improvements at its other facilities since the District is now asking the users to pay for part of this work. Does that mean the other facilities pay for their own capital projects as well.

 Chair Brault replied that the situation here is different from our other facilities. For example, the pool was done almost entirely with a bond issue but that was a complete renovation of the pool which was approved by a referendum.

 Director Wilson stated that every year at each facility money a portion of money is transferred to the Capital Projects fund which means that in essence all users of all our programs are contributing to capital projects beyond tax dollars. However, most recently the course has not been able to achieve those transfers.

 Chair Brault stated that one of the considerations here is that when we make improvements to some of our other facilities they are actually capital improvements. In the case of the golf course, the District is contemplating the maintaining of the asset which includes repairs and improvements. It is a capital maintenance item but we would be enhancing it and changing it for the betterment of our users as opposed to only maintaining the asset. In his view, to maintain and protect the assets is a responsibility of the District and as a Park Board member we need to protect those assets. It does seem that most of the people here today have indicated their choice would be Option #4.

 Commissioner Murdock added that they expect a portion of the funds will be used to maintain the asset to the extent that we’re improving the golf experience and they expect the golfers to contribute to that portion as well.

 Another individual stated he also likes Option #4 and doing the course all at once.

 Commissioner Shelly stated that it seems everyone has indicated that it is a competitive market but if we do Options #3 or #4, our course will be better than any other area courses which probably justifies the increase in fees.

 Tom Bonnie, 411 Vista, expressed his appreciation for the work that staff and the commissioners have done on this issue. He then asked Greg Martin if the work done on #6 was just a grading and does that change any of our numbers. Greg Martin replied that #6 was just a grading and as part of our cost estimates there are line items for bunkers, etc.

 Tom Bonnie added that he would prefer to get the work done all at once and he is comfortable with Option #4. There is also an economic point at which you have to be care when setting fees sine you could price yourself significantly out of the market.

 Chair Brault stated that if we don’t ask the users, we instead ask the residents who don’t use the course. That’s the big question – who pays for it.
 
 Commissioner Shelly stated that if it goes to a vote it could be turned down by residents as well. Commissioner Murdock stated that Tom Bonnie’s point is a good one and that we shouldn’t decrease revenues.

 John Winchell stated he is a Wilmette resident and golfer and thinks that a lot of the work items are actually deferred maintenance items that should have been done earlier. He also likes Option #4.The golf course enhances all of Wilmette

7) Committee Debate and Comment: At this point in the meeting, Chair Brault indicated the goal is now to come up with a recommendation for the full Park Board in regard to the scope and cost of the project and how to fund it. 

 Commissioner Murdock stated he was a new Commissioner when it was decided to start talking about a golf master plan and now he is the fourth longest serving Commissioner on the Board. Originally when we broached the concept of a master plan he was more focused on drainage and didn’t fully understand the relationship between improving the drainage and making the course more interesting to play. When the master plan came out with a $4 and $4.5 million cost numbers, he was very uncomfortable and thought if the golfers don’t pay for the course then residents do. As a commissioner he has the responsibility to ask residents if they’re comfortable with the plan and its cost. He then saw his pendulum swing far back in the other direction and asked what could be done in regards to just improving the drainage which is why it was included in Options #1 and #2. After putting those numbers together, it was suddenly also not an inconsequential expenditure.

 Commissioner Murdock thanked Superintendent Matchen who took him around to look at areas on the course like #13 where there is already a lot of drainage and it is still a “train wreck”. There are limits on how much a four-inch pipe will accomplish and on the diagrams it shows #18 has having been done so we don’t need to go back to #18. Especially with the MWRD coming into the picture next year or so when it will be harder to move dirt in the future, he wanted to make sure that whatever we do we’re not going to look back 3 or 5 years from now and regret that we didn’t spend the money when costs were lower. He walked into this meeting ready to go with Option #3 based on conversations at previous meetings and thought that the general push was more towards Options #1 and #2. He thanked everyone who attended a meeting held late summer or early fall where he heard two things clearly which were to not shut down the course and that there not be a massive plan. It has been a help to him that our golf community understands in order to do something meaningful there will be some shutdown time to get the project done and move on. In his mind he is in favor of either Option #3 or Option #4.

 Commissioner Shelly thanked Greg Martin and Superintendent Matchen and stated that this process has been helpful to her and had asked for more details since she had a hard time with the full master plan as well. She came to the meeting this morning thinking that Option #3 would be the best but she is now learning toward Option #4 which sounds like it would fix a lot of problems. She was never in favor of the Option #1 or #2 since they didn’t seem to be long-term solutions. She is fine with either Option #3 or #4. However, as far as paying for it, she does feel there should be a surcharge of $4 to $5 dollars. She also agrees that project will pay for itself in a few years if we’re going to be the best course in the area, golfers should understand it.

 Commissioner Olvany felt that the question being asked today is two-fold. This course is a very important asset of our community but it’s an asset that is used by a very limited number of people in our community. In his opinion we as a park district need to improve and invest the asset for the benefit of the overall community. It is also incumbent upon the users to pay for some of those improvements as well which is similar to some of our other programs where our users pay for activities and the community itself pays for capital improvements. As far as the questions on the table to, he came to the meeting with basically two thoughts: Either go with Option #2 which would be an asset capital decision which entails just trying to maintain the asset or go with Option #4 where we are really enhancing the experience of all participants. When looking at Director Wilson’s spreadsheet, he is focusing on the five-year project cost line which to him is the ultimate question. He is thinking about the cost of this project over a five-year period and taking into consideration something that he thinks everyone in the golfing community understands and that is the current trends are down globally, national and locally in terms of users. However, the game has been around for 400 years and will be here forever. It is his feeling we need to invest in this asset but the users also need to pay for it. He also believes that Option #4 is a much better way to do the project with the expectation that the users are going to handle some of the costs of this relative to the overall community.

 Chair Brault thanked Greg Martin and staff for the excellent work they have done. He thought the last several meetings have been somewhat overwhelming and confusing in terms of what it means to implement the master plan or at least pieces of the plan and he thinks the current analysis has been very helpful in identifying what we are doing and what it would cost.

 He also started out with focusing on the drainage and thought that this what the users wanted – to improve the course and get it back into shape sooner. We weren’t looking recreate the course but to maintain and enhance it. His personal view of the District is to protect the asset so that it doesn’t degrade over time. It does wear out and the District needs to periodically improve it which should be the primary focus of what we’re looking at today. However, the feedback seems to indicate that more than just the drainage needs to be done on the course.  Looking at the difference in cost from Option #2 which is close to the maintenance and protection of the asset and Option #4 which deals with the general concerns about what we should do over five or ten years, the difference in cost is between $600-$800,000. As a result, he would be willing to recommend Option #4 so long as that incremental cost between protection and improvement is borne largely by the users. An increase of somewhere between 15-20% for example and then continue to look at it over a ten-year period which would pay for the difference between Options #2 and #4. If we can approach the project on that basis and looking to largely have the incremental improvement be user-based, he would be in favor of voting for that.

 Commissioner Murdock made a motion to recommend to the Board to choose Option #4 and pursue it over a single phase.

 Commissioner Olvany stated he would like to amend that motion to include both aspects of which Commissioner Murdock mentioned but would like to recommend that our recommendation of Option #4 include a user fee increase in order to finance a significant portion of the expenditure. Commissioner Murdock agreed that there should be a user fee component included. 

 Chair Brault stated he would like to amend the motion further and to have the user fee increase approximate the cost differential between Option #2 and Option #4.

 Commissioner Olvany stated he agrees conceptually with the amended motion but has difficulty putting in a number. He asked if we should review Director Wilson’s spreadsheet, the project costs and the Park District budget, or the five-year project costs. 

 Both Commissioner Murdock and Commissioner Shelly expressed their concerns on placing a specific number on the contributions from the users at this time.  Commissioner Shelly further stated that the Board could realize in the future that this number was too low or if the course’s revenue increases dramatically in the future this number could be too high. She stated in her opinion that it was too early to make that decision at this time. 

 After additional discussion, Chair Brault moved to amend the motion to have the user fee increase approximate the cost differential between Option #2 and Option #4. Commissioner Olvany seconded the amended motion to approve Option #4 of the Golf Master Plan to be completed in one phase and to have user fees contribute approximately 25% of the costs as defined.
 
 By a voice vote, voting Yes – 4;; voting No – None. Absent – None. Motion Carried

8) New Business: None

9) There being no additional business, the Committee was adjourned at 10:40 a.m.

Minutes taken by J. Bowen.

MINUTES APPROVED ON MARCH 10, 2012.