2014-08-20 / Front Page

Town to seek contractor for golf course management

by KEATON T. DEPRIEST Associate Editor

The Town Board on Monday directed the Purchasing Department to create a request for proposal that would seek an outside company to operate and/or manage Amherst’s three golf courses.

The resolution, initiated by Deputy Supervisor Guy Marlette and co-sponsored by Council Member Steven Sanders, was approved by a 4-1 margin, with Council Member Mark Manna being opposed to the measure.

According to the resolution, the revenues derived from golfing fees, cart rentals, food concessions, driving ranges and tournament play has not been able to keep pace with the cost to the town for its maintenance and management of the courses.

The three golf courses owned by the town are Audubon Golf Course at 500 Maple Road, Audubon Par 3 at 475 Maple Road, and Oakwood at 3575 Tonawanda Creek Road.

Marlette said the town does not profit from its operations of the golf course and its own employees are used to maintain the facilities.

“Using a private management company, the town employees can be freed up to do other work within the Highway Department,” he said. “I envision the advantage is a lower-cost structure and we can provide a higher level of maintenance.”

Marlette added that there has been a dramatic difference in the past several years in the improvements that have been made to the golf courses and that the resolution furthers the town’s desire to enhance the facilities.

He said any company submitting a proposal will be able to view all of the operating costs. Companies seeking to contract with the town must prepare a proposal that includes management and/or operation plans for all three courses.

Marlette’s resolution also directs the Purchasing Department to work with the director of Youth and Recreation and the Town Attorney’s Office in crafting the request for proposal, which could include management concepts for concessions, an operating lease or full-service management.

“The goal is to provide to residents of Amherst the best possible golfing at affordable prices,” he said.

The measure also states that the liaison to Youth and Recreation will also be involved in creating the request. Marlette is currently the liaison.

In another matter, the board also approved a resolution initiated by Council Member Ramona Popowich that involve the residential notification process when developers are proposing construction plans.

The measure directs the Planning and Information Technology departments to make available for residential review the plans for new construction by posting the proposals on the town’s website. In addition, it requests that the plans be posted online before residents are notified of the proposal in the mail.

The next Town Board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 8, in the Council Chambers at the Amherst Municipal Building, 5583 Main St., Williamsville. email: kdepriest@beenews.com

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