Friday, November 26, 2010

TOP STORY >> Golf course surpasses projections

Leader staff writer

The Sherwood golf course—The Greens At North Hills—is exceeding expectations and will save thousands of dollars on water bills by using its pond to irrigate the course.

 According to a report that Alderman Charlie Harmon gave the city council Monday night, the golf course was expected to bring in $500,000 for the year. But it has already brought in $551,800 just in greens fees. Meeting-room rentals have generated another $36,242.

“It’s just doing wonderful,” said Harmon, chairman of the parks and recreation committee. “And we are receiving wonderful comments about the course.”

He thanked golf-course workers but said most of the success had to go to the golf-course manager Manuel Brockington and the golf pro Dawn Darter.

The city’s public-facilities board holds the $7 million note on the golf course, and the city will make monthly payments until the bonds are paid off.

When the bonds were issued, about $5.5 million went to pay off the short-term note the board acquired to purchase the golf course, and another $900,000 was put in reserve to repair and update the golf-course irrigation system.

Harmon said that work would start in December. The alderman said the front nine holes will be closed for about 60 days as repairs and improvements are made to the irrigation and water system. Once the front nine are completed and back up, the back nine will be closed.

“At no time will the entire golf course be closed,” Harmon said.

He said part of the work includes cleaning and repairing the pond by the tenth hole and cleaning and enlarging the pond by the fifth hole.

“The idea is to be in a position to use less and less city water and cut down on the water bill by using the ponds for irrigation,” Harmon explained.

He said the labor expenses for the work would run about $285,000; pond work is estimated at $122,000, and $389,000 for the irrigation repairs and improvements.

Harmon said if there was money left over, it would be used to revamp the parking lot. An architect has been hired to design the parking lot.

In other council business:

After about a 45-minute public hearing, aldermen without much fanfare voted to approve a new retirement plan for city employees. Alderman Sheila Sulcer was the only no vote.

The council approved an R-3 conditional rezoning for a single-family section on Trammel Road for the construction of a nursing home. If for some reason the nursing home is not built, the rezoning will revert back to single-family homes.

Alderman Butch Davis, chairman of the street committee, said leaf pickup was going well, but asked residents to make sure the leaves are within four feet of the curb, but not in the street. “If the leaves are in the street, they clog up our drains,” Davis said.

Mayor Virginia Hillman said Sherwood’s Enchanted Forest Trail of Lights will be open from 6 to 9:30 p.m. from Monday through Dec. 30, and that the city’s annual Christmas parade will be at 2 p.m. Dec. 5.