The past few weeks have consisted of winterizing the irrigation system, equipment maintenance, and simulator setup. I have also taken personal time, away from work, to spend with my family in Iowa City visiting my brother in law.
Todd is currently doing very well. His new liver is doing great and the rest of his body is healing slowly. It has been a very long six weeks, but seeing the gradual improvement really brings much hope to everyone.
The irrigation system was winterized during the middle of November. This was completed on Friday, November 16. I started the process on Thursday and worked into the night trying and was able to finish 14 holes. The other four holes and driving range were finished the following morning. There was freezing rain and snow accumulation on Friday afternoon.
During the blowout of the irrigation system, I was able to record any operational errors with each individual station. There are five valves that need to be repaired or the solenoid needs replaced. Several other stations were adjusted for run times due to the heavy moisture in the ground.
One irrigation pipe was already frozen. This lies between the white and red tees on hole #17. This line will be removed from service in the spring. Two of the three irrigation heads lie in the high water table area and are not necessary. The last head will be utilized on the red tee after it is removed from the remainder of this line.
Equipment servicing and repairs has also been started since the middle of the month. This consists of oil and filter changes, small repairs, and removing reels or blades from each machine. I will do a detail run through of each piece of equipment and complete any other repairs necessary prior to the spring start up.
We have experienced a lot of equipment repair expense with two of our rough units this season. We are close to $15,000 over normal equipment repairs due to these repairs. As we move into the future, I would like to look at combining some of our larger equipment with Park Department purchases to try and minimize some of the expense for both divisions.
To control some of our expenses, I have adjusted some of my spring maintenance practices. The fall fertilizer application was not applied and will now be used as the spring fairway application. Several other chemicals and fertilizers were purchased in bulk, in 2017, and will not be an expense this off season. In total, the chemical line item is about $7,000 less than normal.
I always make every possible attempt to limit expenses in the budget. The next seven months will definitely provide me a challenge to see where adjustments can be made. I’m hopeful we will see a positive turn through the remainder of the budget.
Our revenue side of the budget is in short numbers compared to the average revenues recorded each season by the end of November. We are $25,000 behind this average amount. The weather has not been favorable for extended periods the past two seasons. I can only be hopeful for an early spring and a lot of excited golfers.
There has been a lot of time spent setting up the simulator in the clubhouse. We have hosted one birthday party and have a small get together scheduled for this afternoon. It has been a slow process and I hope the interest level picks up soon. It is a pretty realistic experience and a lot of fun. The simulator is working very well and is always available for rental at $20 per hour.
Last month, there was discussion about moving five trees, from the soccer complex entrance, to the golf course. The city tree spade is not large enough to move these five Oak trees. It took me some time to find a contractor that might be interested in moving them, but I think it will happen in the spring. I am currently negotiating an estimated price of $250 per tree. I am looking for private donations to help cover this expense.
As I previously stated, I have taken some time off with my family situation taking priority. I will be back to work, with a normal work schedule each day, starting on Monday. Please get in touch with me in regards to comments or questions. I will be unable to attend the city council meeting on Monday and the Golf Board meeting has been moved to December 10 due to the Grand Meander.
Brian C Mohr