Golf profitable despite rain, theft

MARYSVILLE – Despite record rains, and some losses due to theft, the city’s Cedarcrest Golf Course again posted a profit in 2016.

The course’s management company, Premier, presented a report to the City Council at Monday’s work session. The report says there was a 21 percent increase in rain last year, leading to a 4 percent decline in rounds played.

Despite that, the course made a profit of $247,128, compared with $153,661 when Premier first took over in 2014. When the city ran the course prior to that, it was operating at a loss. Reducing expenses is part of the reason for this year’s profit.

Premier also reported that crime has been an issue, with five break-ins. The pro shop and restaurant both were broken into. An alarm system kept losses to a minimum. However, the maintenance building also was broken into, leading to $10,000 in items being taken, along with some damage to the building.

To fix those problems, more lighting and four security cameras have been installed. A camera also was installed on the first hole, to help the pro shop keep players moving along smoothly.

“We re-lighted the entire course,” city parks director Jim Ballew said, adding there was another break-in Sunday. Ballew pointed out that a golf course employee helped retrieve some of the stolen property. The worker found the items for sale online and reported it to police, which ended up arresting three suspects. This year’s rainfall so far is up 57 percent, so rounds are down even more. Council Member Stephen Muller said it’s too bad the course doesn’t have a driving range because those are popular when rounds are rained out.

Also mentioned was the city’s Tour of Lights in December, which had a 50 percent increase in ridership, bringing in almost $14,000.

Premier said the pro shop has been changing products to give it a fresh look. New golf superintendent Matt Wagenhoffer was credited with helping the overall course look better.

Cedarcrest ranked No. 1 out of Premier’s 12 golf courses when it came to green fees for 2016.

Other changes:

•Rail seating in Bleacher’s Grill on the patio overlooking the 9th green. •Improved maintenance practices for bunkers.

•New fairway and rough mowers, along with a spray rig.

•Irrigation automation and water conservation practices.

Also, council continued its discussion on flagpoles.

Chief Administrative Officer Gloria Hirashima said she would like to keep the code simple. Senior planner Angela Gemmer tried to do that, recommending Option A (a 25-foot height limit for both residential single-family and multifamily housing) or Option B (25 feet for single family and 35 feet for multifamily).

But Muller and fellow Councilman Jeff Siebert brought up that the base of a flagpole could end up making it taller. They also thought a pole on a city lot should be shorter than one on a larger lot.

The discussion lasted so long that Councilman Jeff Vaughan wondered if the issue should go back to committee.

“Would it make sense for the planning commission to look at it?” he asked. “That’s where it came from in the first place.”

He continued: “I don’t want to drag this out, but if I was on the planning commission” as a courtesy I would want to see it.

Hirashima said: “The council can tweak it,” but if it plans expansive changes it should be sent back.

In the end, the council decided to have staff again look at the code for additional changes.

In other council news:

•At its regular meeting Monday it will look at SRV construction’s low bid of working on the Grove Street Improvement Project. It’s bid is $50,000 under the city’s estimate, public works director Kevin Nielsen said. That company is the one working on 3rd Street.

•It will also look at a $1.6 million project to widen State Avenue from 100th to 116th.

•Finally, it will consider a resolution appointing the city clerk as the agent to receive claims for damages against the city.

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