Weekly Feature

2005-10-26 / Letters to the Editor

Audubon course is town ‘cash cow’

Council Member William Kindel in his proposal to sell the Audubon Golf course describes this facility as “antiquated.”

The problem here is that the Town of Amherst has failed to re-invest any of the profits back into the course.

Last year, a $1 surcharge was tacked on to the greens fee by the recreation department. The funds were to be used exclusively for course improvements. At approximately 2,200 estimated rounds per week for the 2005 season, this would come to around $35,000 for the season. Where is the money?

Without periodic upgrades and improvements, why wouldn’t any facility become antiquated? The town has never upgraded the watering system. I was surprised to learn that the course is not connected to Erie County Water

This facility is a cash cow, and the town has been milking it from day one and giving very little back. Course operation suffers economically because cutting and maintenance services are performed by the use of highway department employees, whose salaries far exceed that paid by other courses who are able to hire and fire their employees.

The course must be turned over to the recreation department, who could then hire the necessary people to perform services now provided by the highway department.

Why are labor costs not included in this periodic operating statements that are prepared by the town or recreation department? Are the labor costs determined after the profit is known so as to wipe out a major portion of the profit that is then siphoned off into the town general fund? As for the suggestion that a new course be built for $12 to 15 million, I would suggest that Mr. Drogonsky, who is promoting this concept, join a country club that meets his standards, because the Audubon course is not going to be sold.

Ed Clohessy Williamsville

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