|Golf course focus of city meeting; budget studied|
|Written by Chris Lee|
A golf course sub-committee was formed at the Dec. 15 City Council meeting with budget issues and communication being the focus for the group.
Council members approved a $7,500 reimbursement, but not after bringing up and looking at questions concerning the issue.
Mayor David Nygaard and Ray Bailey were named to the sub-committee to meet with golf course officials.
The item had been tabled a couple of different times because the council wanted the picture clarified before a $7,500 reimbursement was approved. Jim Blake represented the golf course at the Nov. 3 meeting to explain the reimbursement and to provide receipts. He said the course has tried different raffles to help bring in money.
Nygaard explained a majority of the reimbursement is for salaries and wages.
Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Tillie Fisbeck said the bills are paid up through August. September and October have not been reimbursed and those are usually paid by the end of November, she said.
Bailey said he would like to see justification of expenditures. He also mentioned there should be a clear outline or budget to see where money is going.
After a clear picture is presented, Bailey suggested giving a larger appropriation.
Mayor Nygaard said the golf course budget has never been in the black and it has been an issue in the past. “They depend on early memberships and the lag time during the winter months,” he said.
Bailey suggested looking at other area courses to see how funding works.
Nygaard said the highest expenses for the golf course are salaries and equipment, as well as benefits. He added the golf course is like the swimming pool except instead of a building needing upkeep, it is land.
Membership drives came up as an idea to increase membership numbers. Council members believe dwindling numbers are a factor. Increase in fees is a reason council members believe there is a decrease in memberships.
Electric rate increase approved
An increase in electrical rates became effective Dec. 18. The resolution was presented at the Nov. 3 meeting and establishes electrical rates for the city of Holyoke.
The increase applies to all residential, commercial and demand-metered customers.
The proposed rates will increase as follows:
Residential—service charge of $9.73/month will increase to $10.60 a month; first 1,000 kwh of $0.08765/kwh will increase to $0.09554/kwh and over 1,000 kwh of $0.07134/kwh will increase to $0.07776/kwh.
Commercial—service charge of $17.20 a month will increase to $18.75 a month; first 1,000 kwh $0.08765/kwh to $0.09554 kwh and over 1,000 kwh $0.07134/kwh to $0.07776/kwh.
Demand electric (large power users)—all kw of $11.63/kw to $12.67/kw and all kwh of $0.05095/kwh to $0.0554/kwh.
Airport leases renewed
Council members approved airport hangar leases for Phil and Terri Biersdorfer, Ivan and Julie Wiebke and two for Scholl Oil and Transportation. However, questions regarding the lease agreements arose.
It was stated the agreements are for the hangars only and not for the area surrounding the hangars. It was brought to the council’s attention that some lessees have other items parked or stored around airport hangars.
Reports of city officials
City Supt. Mark Brown said he was involved in a conference call with the Federal Aviation Administration and Armstrong Consultants to talk about the upcoming airport paving project for 2010. Brown said Armstrong plans to have the project out to bid by late March or early April so the project won’t interfere with agricultural spraying operations.
Council members also voiced their appreciation for the way snow removal was handled during the last snow storm.
Police Chief Phil Biersdorfer reported he was involved in an investigation regarding stolen property from Holyoke being found in a pawn shop in Sterling. He said the District Attorney is looking into the matter to see whether or not to allow Holyoke P.D. to investigate or leave it up to Sterling P.D.
Biersdorfer said he has been in contact with local banks regarding bank robberies. He reported the state of Colorado is number two in the nation in bank robberies. Biersdorfer said he conducted a robbery training at one of the banks in Holyoke.
A revision in the force and firearms policy was approved by council members. The revision includes a less lethal style of weapon being added. Biersdorfer said they have received the shotguns and bean bag rounds. Logan County was supposed to set up a training course for Holyoke P.D. but plans fell through. Once training is complete, the policy will take effect.
City Clerk Kathy Olofson said the city received a Conservation Trust Fund payment for the fourth quarter in the amount of $5,381.90. She said the year to date total is $21,230.80.
In other business Dec. 15, council members:
—approved request for donation to Historical Society (Phillips County Museum).
—accepted a recommendation from the planning commission regarding rezoning. The rezone applies to Thompson Farms on the west edge of town being rezoned from an AO to a C2 zone.
—wrote off bad debts for 2009. Council members commended Fisbeck for her work on keeping the number down to around $400.