WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
GOLF OPERATIONS COMMITTEE MEETING


Date: February 8, 2014
Place: Wilmette Golf Club  
Time: 8:30 am
 
Attendance
Commissioners: Chair James Brault, Bryan Abbott, Amy Wolfe
Absent: None
Staff: Wilson, Bowen, Eppelheimer, Matchen
Visitors: None
 
Topics of Discussion

1) Meeting Called to Order
2) Approval of Minutes
     a) October 16, 2013
3) Recognition of Visitors
4) Communications and Correspondence
5) Managers Reports
6) Old Business
8) New Business
9) Adjournment

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

2) The minutes from the October 16, 2013 Committee meeting were approved by general consent.

3) Under Communications and Correspondence, Superintendent Bowen reported two emails had been received from Tom Bonnie regarding the trees on the course as well as the condition of the course in general. An email was also received from the staff at the Glenview Golf Course thanking us for loaning out four of our golf carts for an event at the Peter Jans Golf Course. Superintendent Bowen stated that although Glenview insisted on paying, we refused to charge them for the carts since they paid for the cost of the trailer rental in the amount of
$1,000.

4) Recognition of Visitors: None

5) Under Managers Reports, Director Wilson stated that he had some discussions with Joe McRae who is the new Superintendent of Recreation of the City of Evanston in regard to the Evanston-Wilmette Golf course lease agreement.  Mr. McRae indicated he was also very concerned about what was taking place on the course which has included bike rallies and cross country ski events that are not permitted on the property.

Director Wilson added that the leases with the MWRD and EWCGCA state the property can only be used for golf although the Park District challenged that stipulation in 2012 and will continue to do so if necessary. Golf Manager Mike Matchen stated that the 7 holes in Wilmette are leased to the Wilmette Park District but not to the Village of Wilmette and added that the MWRD owns the property which is leased to Evanston. Director Wilson stated the lease does provide the District with the ability to take back the land at any time.

6) Under Old Business, Mike Matchen presented a series of photos including where the crew had finished off at the end of September. Mike added that there are some areas of concern related to this year's winter weather but he will not know if any damage has occurred until it gets warmer. Other photos included 15 green after several cuts and 18.fairway where there is one small low spot that needs to be corrected . Mike added that staff has rolled the greens after topdressing a couple of times to help level them out and they will continue to do more of that type of work. The greens were seeded during the first week of October and all of tees and greens were covered.

Mike stated that he has some concerns about the age of the plants and the thawing process. Director Wilson stated that staff is hoping that once it warms up the temperatures will stay that way. Mike added that in the meantime staff will continue to do the cover shuffle on greens and tees.

Chair Brault asked if Greg Martin had advised us on what to do during this time period. Mike replied that at this point there is not much for us to do but to sit and wait. Once everything else is cleared, Greg Martin will come out for an inspection followed by a visit from a Wadsworth representative.

Commissioner Wolfe asked if cross country skiing damages the ground and Mike replied that we have not had any problems in the past. Commissioner Wolfe also asked if there was a way to get to the trail through the forest preserve. Mike replied that because of the river, there is no way to get in. He added that in the past, we did rent skis but it was determined that the investment of additional staff coupled with a few bad winters wasn't financially feasible. As a result, cross country skiing was moved to Gillson Park but that location didn't work either.

Chair Brault asked if there was any kind of third party opportunity. Mike replied that over the last 20 years we have not received any requests although "word of mouth" does get out and there is always the issue of inconsistent weather.

Mike Matchen presented additional slides of those areas that had ice and also some areas where drainage occurred as the snow began to melt. Mike added that in summary we can see how everything depends on the weather but staff will
continue to be as aggressive as possible. However, he added that at this point it is basically a wait and-see approach.

Chair Brault stated that at the last Committee meeting there was discussion on some grand re-opening ideas. Jeff replied that staff had discussed the possibilities but needed some direction from the Committee. Additional staff discussion included having a "soft'' opening on a Thursday night which could include the press and a Commissioners' reception. A golf outing in conjunction with the Ouilmette Foundation could happen on Friday with tee times for members on Saturday and Sunday morning. A community event could then take place on Sunday afternoon similar to our Family Golf Event.

Director Wilson added that those ideas sounded good but the date would be a moving target so staff should know more after the March Committee meeting. Then in May the Committee should set a date.Jeff added that he has also been working with the marketing department on some additional ideas.

7) Under New Business, Jeff reported that the annual golf lottery will be held on April 22, 2014, and explained that there are different types of memberships if someone is an unlimited member. There are also four different phases consisting of 4 residents, 3 residents, 1 non-resident, and then 4 all non-residents. Mike stated that there are currently 63 groups and in the past the numbers were closer to 110 or 115 groups. Mike added that he had already received inquiries for memberships from Glenview residents but a decision on that has not yet been made.

After additional discussion on possible resident and/or non-resident membership rate scenarios for Glenview residents, the Committee asked Superintendent Bowen to return to the next Committee meeting with some new rate percentages for the 2014 and 2015 seasons and gather additional feedback from the golfers.

8) Under New Business: None

There being no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 9:15 am.