Tiger Woods isn't the only one in the golf community who's keeping quiet these days.
The city's golf course caretakers said Monday night they've come up with a way to maintain Modesto's three public courses that will trim $288,000 from the city's $2.2 million yearly bill.
But the contractor, Calabasas-based ValleyCrest, said it couldn't share details of the new method. Doing so could put the firm at a disadvantage to competitors, ValleyCrest president Greg Pieschala said at the City Council's Finance Committee meeting.
With another year of severe budget cuts looming, council members didn't press ValleyCrest on specifics. Council members Dave Geer, Brad Hawn and Garrad Marsh voted 3-0 to OK the mystery method.
"I don't care what color you're going to paint the lawn mower to make this work," Hawn said.
Although the new maintenance plan will cost less to deliver, Pieschala assured council members that ValleyCrest will continue to meet the strict provisions in the city's contract. The agreement spells out how often lawns are mowed and a list of other standards ValleyCrest must meet.
Modesto has considered closing its courses because maintaining them takes money out of the city's general fund, the pool of money that pays for basic services such as police and fire protection. ValleyCrest's plan is expected to eliminate the need to close the courses and stop the drain on the general fund.
The full council is expected to review ValleyCrest's proposal in March. If it's approved, ValleyCrest would start using its new maintenance method April 1. That would mean the city would save $41,000 this budget year, which ends June 30.
Bee staff writer Leslie Albrecht can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2378. Follow her at Twitter.com/BeeReporter.