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Parks Commission Study Session Minutes

Minutes
Monday, June 18, 2007

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

STUDY SESSION
MINUTES

 

June 18, 2007

 

 

ATTENDANCE

 Present:      Commissioners Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas, Rosenthal; Superintendents Teige and Moyers

Absent:       City Council Liaison Navickas, Director Robertson, Superintendent Gies

Guests:       Bob Haney, Greg Williams

CALL TO ORDER

Eggers called the meeting to order at 12:05 p.m. at the Oak Knoll Golf Course clubhouse, 3070 Hwy 66.

VERDE VILLAGE DISCUSSION

Teige referenced the memo prepared by Robertson regarding the proposed land swap associated with the Verde Village development and directed commissioners’ attention to item two: “Is the proposed land swap of equal or greater recreational value than the land originally purchased with the Land and Water Conservation funds?”. Further referencing the memo, she stated that the 1.3 acres of city property contain the entrance road to the Dog Park and a section of the Bear Creek Greenway while the 2.59 acres of Williams property include stream corridor for Ashland Creek, a wetlands, and a new trail route for the Bear Creek Greenway. She indicated that a new entrance to the Dog Park would result from a new road system as part of the Verde Village development.

Teige introduced Greg Williams, landowner, and invited him to speak to the commission.

Williams stated that the 1.3 acres of city-owned land was appraised at $101,000 while the 2.59 acres of Williams property was appraised as $360,000. He emphasized the “win-win” nature of the proposed land swap, as park patrons would have better access to the park, the city would gain ownership of the riparian area, and the Verde Village development would benefit from obtaining the city-owned land.

Williams asked the commission to recommend support of the proposed land swap to the Planning Commission, which could then recommend approval to council. He indicated that the proposal also required approval by both state and county representatives.

GOLF COURSE DISCUSSION

Teige said that both Bob Haney—Oak Knoll Golf Course pro—and Drew Moyers—Golf Course Superintendent—were on-hand to talk to the commission about operations at the pro shop and golf course maintenance. She introduced Haney and invited him to speak to the commission.

Haney outlined typical pro shop operations, stating that golf carts were set out and staged in the morning and pro shop staff greeted golfers and provided them with opportunities for lessons. He said that an average day drew 100 golfers, half from Ashland and the other half from surrounding areas. He reported that ZIP codes were obtained for tracking purposes. Other operational details included:

§         Driving range – provide fresh golf balls at the range

§         Restaurant – provide food and beverage options

§         18-hole play – increasing interest by golfers

§         Specials – example: “Dollar Day” on Wednesdays for food and beverage items

Haney stated that the course is in great shape and a large number of tourists play, especially during special events such as the SOU graduation. He said that tourism comprises around 30% of his business and he sees a good deal of “repeat business.” When asked about using a more detailed tracking system, Haney reported that such systems cost approximately $15,000. When asked about tying into the Parks Department’s software system, “Recware,” to register and track golfers, Teige responded that it might be possible to install a computer at the pro shop and purchase an add-on feature, specifically designed for golf applications, for the Recware system. She volunteered to check into the cost of the add-on package. Teige reported that the new Promotions Coordinator would soon begin working on both a golf course Web site and brochure.

Commissioners talked about the value of the recent golf course improvements, including the paving of the driving range path and tee box additions, and indicated that the upgrades were probably largely responsible for increases in driving range use and rounds of golf played. Commissioners thanked Haney for his efforts.

Teige asked the group to move outside to speak with Drew Moyers about golf course maintenance.

Moyers talked about golf course mowing, stating that the grass is mowed to the shortest level in the interior section, the greens, followed by subsequently higher mowing on the collar, fairway, and roughs (exterior). He reported that the maintenance crew at the golf course consists of three full-time staff, up from two in the previous fiscal year, and the course is maintained seven days a week. He stated that crew members spot-water sections of brown lawn on greens and spot-treat weeds with herbicides. Moyers reported the necessity of making daily repairs and improvements to the irrigation system and said he was in the process of teaching his crew the skills for making such repairs.

In terms of mowers, Moyers stated that the largest mower, the 580, mows the roughs with a rotary mower and is not used in the rain. The reel mower was identified as the mower responsible for leaving stripes in the fairway, and the “greens” mower, reported to be the smallest of the riding machines, was said to be used for mowing greens, collars, and tee boxes. Moyers said that the staff fleet mechanics are responsible for maintaining and repairing the mowers, even beyond their normal life spans, and that some of the mowers might be ready for replacement. He indicated that the golf course is irrigated with water from the Talent Irrigation Ditch and is bordered by Bear Creek and Neil Creek. In terms of the wetlands running through the course, he stated that crew members do not weed eat or spray herbicides around those areas.

Rosenthal talked about the value of recent golf course improvements, stating that results were visible in terms of increased use of the course and the range. He questioned impacts of potential future irrigation system improvements. Moyers said that the primary impact would be improved use of staff time. Eggers asked for an estimated number of staff hours that might be saved with a new irrigation system. Teige agreed to work with Moyers to determine an estimate.

Rosenthal and Gardiner reminded the commission of proposed golf course capital improvement plan upgrades, including new sand for the sand traps, a tree planting scheme, additional tee box replacements, and a potential multi-use trail around the course.

Commissioners thanked Moyers for his efforts. They expressed interest in walking the course in the future to determine possible locations for a multi-use trail around the course.

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Eggers adjourned the meeting at 1:40 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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