W-B officials propose revised fee plan for local golf course
March 13--WILKES-BARRE -- The city administration has sent council a new proposed fee schedule for the Hollenback Golf Course since last week's council meeting.
Many of the fees initially proposed to council in a Feb. 18 email based on discussions between city Administrator Ted Wampole, director of Operations Butch Frati and golf course manager David Iskra were unchanged, but some additional suggestions have been made.
One of the most significant proposed fee adjustments was for senior citizen memberships.
The initial proposal to council involved increasing the senior membership fee from $150 to $375 for residents and from $250 to $375 for non-residents. The new proposal sent Monday would instead raise the annual fee to $300 for both resident and non-resident seniors.
Membership rates other than those for seniors were not adjusted from the original proposal sent to council: an increase from $200 to $400 for regular resident memberships, from $300 to $400 for regular non-resident memberships, and from $125 to $175 for resident student memberships.
The rate for non-resident students would remain unchanged at $175.
The initial proposal also included adding a $3 surcharge per day for non-resident members.
Also unchanged from the initial proposal to council:
--The weekday green fee which would increase from $9 to $12 for nine holes, and from $9 to $15 for 18 holes.
--The weekend/holiday green fee would increase from $10 to $14 for nine holes, and from $10 to $17 for 18 holes.
The $17 weekend/holiday fee for 18 holes was unintentionally omitted from the proposed ordinance sent to council on Monday, Wampole confirmed.
Wampole has said fee increases were recommended after an analysis showed that many fees at Hollenback are considerably cheaper than those at similar area golf courses.
The administration began examining the fee structure after he heard complaints that the course has been bleeding too much money from the budget and draining resources for other recreational opportunities.
Last year, expenses at the course exceeded the $106,818 in revenue by $160,245.
The proposed fee changes sent to council on Monday that were not included in the initial email:
--League play would increase from $8 to $10 for nine holes, and from $12 to $14 for 18 holes.
--Power cart rental for one person would increase from $8 to $12 for nine holes, and from $14 to $16 for 18 holes.
--Power cart rental for two people would increase from $12 to $16 for nine holes, but it would decrease from $24 to $20 for 18 holes.
--The twilight green fee (for play begun after 4 p.m.) would increase from $8 to $10.
--The super twilight green fee of $5 (for play begun after 6 p.m.) would be eliminated.
--Golf club rental would increase from $9 to $10.
--A 50-cent daily surcharge for members would be eliminated.
Power cart season rental would remain unchanged, according to the new proposal: $400 for residents and $450 for non-residents.
Wampole said council members have been "countering with some different ideas, so I'm guessing our proposed rates may be altered by the time they vote on the ordinance."
Council next meets for a work session at 6 p.m. March 20 and for a voting meeting at 6 p.m. March 22 in chambers on the fourth floor of City Hall, 40 E. Market St., Wilkes-Barre.
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