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Would Monies Be Saved if Golf Was Discontinued at CCW

Clubhouse Expenses: Because of the wet sprinkler system, we would still need to heat the building. To prevent mold and mildew from forming, we would still need to run the air circulation system, which is the primary driver of the building’s electrical costs. We would save a little money on water usage in the building, but property insurance rates would increase because of the higher costs of insuring a vacant building (sometimes deductibles increase also). The building could become a target for vandalism leading to uncovered losses on insurance deductibles. I see no savings – it may even be more expensive if unused.

Golf Expenses: Billy Casper Golf will be paid $180,000 under its contract to manage the golf course in calendar 2016. In 2016, we received $50,171 in revenue-sharing for 2015 results and will receive $6,945 for golf cart property taxes, so our calendar 2016 net cost of golf will be $122,884. Casper pays our equipment loan with the $180,000 fee. The loan is paid off in 2016. So, a $118,000 expense, that is paid out of the $122,884 net cost, will disappear. With expected revenue growth, golf in 2017 could cost the town $0.

Land/Passive Recreation Proposal/Expenses: Trails would be created under this alternative use proposal which would require periodic maintenance due to wash-outs, overgrown vegetation, fallen/falling trees, etc. just as happens on the Fitzgerald Tract, etc. As the plan is to turn existing cart paths into gravel trails, the linear footage of these trails is at least 4 times the linear footage of the Fitzgerald Tract, suggesting much higher expense. In addition, the CCW land is much hillier, suggesting that ‘washout repairs’ will be much more frequent and vegetation management more time-consuming. Further, the existing watercourses and ponds on the CCW lands are ‘attractive nuisances’ – without some oversight like a golf use, the risk of an unfortunate accident increases. Lastly, the vegetation will be allowed to grow wild and will be a magnet for deer (and deer predators) which, combined with the trails, could result in greater incidence of Lyme disease. These are all added potential costs.

My summary:

  • The costs of operating the clubhouse will not change materially without golf and may actually increase;
  • Golf is at/near the point where it can be self-sustaining;
  • The passive recreation proposal adds costs that have not been discussed.

Some ‘other values’ that haven’t been considered in the above are:

  • Golf is presently given to the Amity golf team for free – a $12,000 value based upon the funds that CCW would get if it sold those tee times to others. If CCW closes, the Amity golf team will have to go to private clubs and possibly pay private club fees;
  • CCW is a venue for charities to raise monies – over $150,000 in 2015 alone;
  • CCW donates rounds to charities that they can use in raffles and other fundraising activities–a $26,000 value; and
  • CCW aids local employment which further helps local business.

Deke Hotchkiss, Chair, Country Club of Woodbridge Commission

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