Modesto needs more green to keep its golf greens going, and officials say they have a plan to make that happen.
The City Council's Finance Committee will get a look tonight at a proposal to save maintenance costs at the city's three public golf courses. Officials have considered closing the courses, which cost Modesto about $2.2 million a year.
The city's golf course maintenance contractor, ValleyCrest, says it can save Modesto $288,000 next budget year, but "provide equal or better maintenance," according to a city staff report.
How is that possible?
Parks and Recreation Director Julie Hannon said she wants to keep the plan under wraps until tonight's meeting. "It's going to revolutionize the whole golf course maintenance model," she said. "Golf course maintenance hasn't been changed in 200 years, and this is going to do that."
No, they are not going to use goats to trim the grass, Hannon said. If the mystery plan works, it could move the city's three golf courses out of the budget rough.
Modesto raised fees last year at the Municipal Golf Course and its two 18-hole courses, Dryden and Creekside. Officials hoped the fee boost would eliminate the need to use general fund dollars for golf course upkeep. The general fund is the money the city sets aside to pay for services such as police, fire and parks.
The fee increase didn't bring in the needed revenue, so the council cut back on maintenance costs, trimming ValleyCrest's contract by $102,715.
But expenses are still outpacing revenues. ValleyCrest's new cost-cutting plan could keep the courses open and eliminate the need to use general fund dollars, Hannon said.
The Finance Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. today in council chambers, basement level, 1010 10th St.