Golf: Fees to increase at LAGC

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By Jennifer Garcia

Golf enthusiasts will soon pay just a little more if they intend to use the Los Alamos County golf course.

During Tuesday night’s county council meeting held in White Rock, council approved golf course fee increases for the 2009-2010 season, which were sponsored by Community Services Director Stephani Johnson and Recreation Division Manager Randy Smith.

Councilors Ralph Phelps and Sharon Stover were not present for the weekly meeting.

The fee increase will affect everything from season passes, daily fees and rentals to greens fee punch cards, season cart rentals and driving range punch cards. Rentals of pull carts and club rentals will not be affected by the rate increase. In addition, club storage and small locker club storage also will not see a fee increase. Private cart trail fees, private cart rider fees — 9 and 18 holes — will also remain the same as they were in 2008.

“We tried to increase enough to bring in revenue but not enough to hurt competition in the area,” Johnson said.

Johnson said that the Parks and Recreation Board met and discussed the issue on March 12.

During that meeting, the board approved the fee increase.

There was little council discussion surrounding the fee increase, however, Councilor Robert Gibson commented on the process taken to make the determination of whether to increase fees.

“It looks like everyone who needed to be involved was,” he said.

Councilor Nona Bowman veered off the subject of fees during the open discussion period and wanted to know how the golf course clubhouse compared to other golf course clubhouses in the area.

During the Capital Improvement Projects meetings held in January, the committee reviewed an application for the golf course building and cart barn. The application stated that a programmatic study would be developed to assess the current clubhouse and cart barn to determine if it’s practical to remodel the current facilities to serve the needs of the public and staff, or if it would be more efficient to rebuild a new facility at the same location. The estimated cost for the project would be $50,000 for an architect engineer study, according to the application.

Incidentally, the application faired well and received one of the top five scores during the CIP application scoring process.

Golf Course Manager Dennis McCloskey indicated that the clubhouse needed some work and told Bowman, “We need the tools to compete with other courses.”

Johnson said that she and her staff are exploring options for the clubhouse. “We faired pretty well in the CIP process,” she explained. “Maybe it (the clubhouse) could be more than just a golf course clubhouse.”

After Council Chairman Michael Wheeler got discussion back on track in regard to the motion being presented, council voted to approve the fee increase. The motion passed 5-0.