I would like to provide you an update on the proposed golf course renovation. At the last Board Meeting, the Board accepted the Greens Committee’s proposal, and agreed to take the issue up again at the next meeting on Friday September 27. We also have planned a tentative workshop meeting on Thursday September 26 to go over the specifics and further discuss the financing.
First, let’s review the scope of the project, along with some of the priorities and the reasoning backing it up. This proposed renovation encompasses the following items:
- New irrigation system
- Greens renovated to USGA specifications
- New tee boxes and fairways
- Concrete cart paths with sloping curbs
- Renovated bunkers
It does not include any of the originally planned enhancements such as lake bank rock walls and water features.
There is no plan to eliminate any portion of these items as part of a phased approach. In redoing the irrigation, it makes sense to complete all aspects of this project at one time. Here is why:
The main priority has become irrigation. Thankfully, we are not going to have to replace the very costly items of a new pump house and mainlines. But with a 57% efficiency, and old hydraulic controllers, this system is outdated and in need of redesign and replacement. Of course, it wasn’t viewed that way back in 2005, and at that time, $1M was taken out of reserves for the clubhouse renovation. This is one of the reasons we are so underfunded in this area. The original greens project in 2005 was a re-grassing of the greens. Since that was the only work completed, that is what was reserved for in the future.
Originally installed with un-certified 419 Bermuda grass in 1998, the fairways and tee boxes have since mutated and been infiltrated with foreign grasses that perform poorly in cool weather and heavy traffic. While it has looked amazing this past summer, a cool season and the usual heavy play will bear this out. This work can be completed once the greens, fairways and tee boxes are dug up for irrigation.
I don’t need to mention much about the cart paths as they speak for themselves. They are crumbling and do not have much life remaining. New concrete paths can last 20 years and the graded curbing will make it a nice enhancement.
The bunkers have needed significant work over the years. These bunkers are really the main redesign component of the project, featuring some new strategic placements that allow the course to look a little differently.
And lastly, though no less important overall, is a new landscaping scheme. Certainly, we would not complete a renovation of our golf course without making the necessary landscape improvements to cap it off.
Now let’s discuss cost. This project will cost, in total, $3,274,000, including contingency and professional fees. For the upcoming year, we will have $2,650,000 set aside in reserve. Therefore, the outstanding balance of approximately $625K will need to be financed. The Finance Committee has proposed a very attractive plan for spreading this shortfall out over 5 years, essentially costing the membership nothing more than the current annual assessment, with the usual annual increases for inflation and cost of materials increases. How can we do that, you ask? Well, it has to do with the annual collection of reserve funds. Since the project is slated to occur this year, there is no time to pick up additional funding. However, if you analyze the reserve plan, you would see that the planned requirement for the reserves over the next five years is scheduled to go down. Maintaining that reserve level and using internal funds in the short term allows the project to be completed and paid for with no special assessment.
Please remember that this is a maintenance project that eventually needs to be completed.
We will be sending additional information out to you prior to the member vote, currently planned for early to mid-October. We also anticipate a couple small forums with the Architect and other key people involved in the project, including Superintendent Gregg Meier. And of course, feel free to call or email me for more specific information.