by Julie Ann Madden
The financial bottom line was a positive number for the 2012 season at the Akron Golf Course.
In fact, the Akron Golf Club Inc.’s financial statements showed a current checking account balance of $12,555 with an additional $10,790 in a savings account.
Plus, the board had paid $5,000 down on the clubhouse’s outstanding debt and purchased several pieces of equipment.
“That’s a $45,000 difference (from last year),” said Councilor Barbara Johnson. “That’s a wonderful job.”
“This is a miraculous turn around,” said Councilor Chad Ericson at their Oct. 23 meeting.
“We come here on much better terms than last year,” said Akron Golf Club Inc. Board Member Nathan Harris, summing up their success as:
• Hiring the right people. The grounds keeper did a tremendous job for the board whose goal was to get the course in good shape.
Harris noted that because of the grounds keeper staying on top of things, the chemical budget was decreased from $7,000 in 2011 to just $4,500 this year.
• Having tremendous clubhouse management from Bruce and Carrie Koele of Akron.
They were great promoters, said Harris, adding membership revenues increased $20,000. Although some of it was due to changes made in the membership dues, most of it was from increases in membership numbers.
• Increased weekend rentals of clubhouse; and
• Getting off on the right financial footing with a little bit of cash from the city.
“Last year when we left herer our goal was not to be profitable for one year, then let this fall on its face again,” said Harris. “What we need to strive for is continued success, continuing improving things so we don’t go back in the opposite direction the following year.”
He noted the golf club is still lacking some things:
• Appropriately paid help. As they seek a new grounds keeper, the board realizes they will need to increase salaries for 2013 as the current salaries are way below average.
In addition, Harris noted they do not have any part-time help for inside or outside the clubhouse. They have a great group of volunteers, which take the place of at least one, if not two, full-time employees.
He commended Public Works Director Gary Horton and the city employees who helped the board out a lot.
• Equipment updates are needed as well as money needs to be budgeted for future purchases; and
• There is still $25,000 in operating debt left to pay off.
“One thing that was especially rewarding as a board member, and the city should be really proud, is our membership came out big time to support us,” said Harris.
“I think we came make this (year’s success) snowball,” he said. “People really like success; they like to see things working and I think if we start building on this and stay moving in the right direction, the the golf course will become an err bigger asset to the community.”
The board proposed the city donate $13,658.52 toward the golf course’s 2013 budget. Of that amount, $9,231.80 would go toward the property taxes and $4,426.72 would pay the bill for water usage.
Harris noted the city pays for the water used on the city’s ball fields so a water usage reimbursement or “gift” form the city would be similar to that.
Harris also suggested any monetary gifts the council would give to the board be for specific needs. Two of the upcoming projects are to replace the clubhouse roof and improve outside bathrooms.
The Akron Golf Club Inc. is selling tickets now but none of that money is figured in the 2012 budget. Their fiscal year ends Oct. 31.
When asked if they needed money right now, Akron Golf Club Inc. Treasurer Jeff Morehead responded, “We should have enough. Our goal is to not touch the savings (which has been saved for future equipment purchases). (Financially) it should be close by our membership night in March.”
He explained winterizing and outstanding bills would cost about $4,700.
Board Member Warren Thompson added about $2,300 will be expended to sharpen the reels on the mowers but “the golf course is really ready to go for next year right now.”
Thompson personally requested some help with improving the land on the south and west side of the clubhouse. He suggested discing the area up and planting it in alfalfa and clover or alfalfa and oats and asked the council to consider paying for the seed.
“We can’t give you a decision tonight,” said Councilor Bob Frerichs, who is the board’s council liaison. He suggested a committee be formed to work with the board as the council develops the city’s next budget.