Format of Public Forum Welcome and Introduction – Mayor of Leeton Shire Council – Cr Paul Maytom Overview of Golf Course / Background Information – Director of Corporate Services, Leeton Shire Council, Mr Duncan McWhirter Volunteer Assistance - Golf Club Sub Committee, Mr Michael Burton Questions/Statements from the Public
Overview of Golf Course / Background Information – Director of Corporate Services, Leeton Shire Council, Mr Duncan McWhirter • Golf Course Land • Portions 527 and 528 DP 751745, Parish of Yarangery • Located along Acacia Avenue and Maiden Avenue Leeton • Crown Reserve Number 75463 • Council appointed as Trust Manager for the Reserve as notified on 21/11/1952 for the purpose of “Golf Links Leeton”
Overview of Golf Course / Background Information – Director of Corporate Services, Leeton Shire Council, Mr Duncan McWhirter • Golf Course Land • Golf Course has a water allocation of 138 ML (General Security) contained within Council’s water entitlements • Council also provides “recycled” water from the Water Filtration Plant on an annual basis – 50 ML • Liquor Licence approval (LICQ300240177) for the sale of alcohol from the Pro Shop issued by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority on 5/4/2012 to Leeton Soldiers Club • Temporary Licence entered into with the Soldiers club from 15/12/2011 to 31/12/2012 (no longer in place)
Leeton Golf Course – Public Forum • Approach by Leeton Soldiers Club • In 2007 (and prior years) Leeton Golf Club was in severe financial difficulty and as a result amalgamated with Leeton Soldiers Club in August 2007. • Leeton Soldier’s Club approached Council in late 2012 stating their own financial difficulties had made the viability of maintaining the Golf Course no longer feasible. • Soldiers Club sought Council’s involvement in ensuring the course was kept operational for the Leeton community. • Council, at its Meeting held on 19 December 2012 resolved to “take on a caretaker arrangement of the Leeton Golf Course for six (6) months to allow Council to carry out meaningful community engagement in relation to the future of the Course and to allow Council to investigate other potential scenarios/options in relation to the Course”.
Leeton Golf Course – Public Forum • Current Relationship With Leeton Soldiers CLub • Council is only responsible for the costs of operating Leeton Golf Course (Council does not fund any part of the operations of the Soldiers Club nor the bowling greens). • New staff appointed to the course are engaged directly by Council. Existing staff are being paid by the Leeton Soldiers Club and then this is invoiced to Council until a final decision is made on Council's involvement with the course.. • The greenkeeper collects green fees on behalf of Council and Council pays his retainer and commission directly to him. • All costs (electricity, fertilizer, chemicals, wages) are now being paid for by Leeton Shire Council (as from 1 January 2013). • Collection of membership fees 2013/14 – will directly be undertaken by Leeton Shire Council if Council take on the course
Leeton Golf Course – Public Forum • Public Submissions Received to Date • Following the December meeting, Council commenced a community consultation period which expires on 30 April 2013 • Council requested the community put forward its thoughts into whether or not Council should be involved in maintaining the Leeton Golf Course. To date the following responses have been received: • ** Includes 260 people who signed a petition stating ”We, the undersigned, request Leeton Shire Council, to agree to commit to the ongoing maintenance of the Leeton Golf Course for the benefit of competition, social golfers and for the benefit of the town of Leeton”.
Leeton Golf Course – Public Forum • Public Submission – Robyn Forest • “When our family considered a transfer to Leeton 12 years ago we looked into the town and what facilities/services would be available to our family. Like many who have to decide whether to move to a town in the west of NSW we had areas of concern: • Hospitals/doctors • Education • Sporting facilities • Levels of employment • The main street, at the time, had virtually no empty businesses, the parklands were generous and well tended and the sporting facilities of pool complex, ovals, golf course and race course were all spread out in a magnificent stretch of well tended and appealing options for the town” • Imagine being someone now considering the same move/same options. Would the town have the same appeal with a large discarded area that was once a golf course in the middle of town”.
Leeton Golf Course – Public Forum • Current Membership Figures In addition to the above, there are also 178 twilight golfing members that play weekly throughout summer. There are also on average 50-60 casual players per week.
Leeton Golf Course – Public Forum • Golf Course Financial Analysis Whilst Under Control of Soldiers Club Above figures supplied by Leeton Soldiers Club
Leeton Golf Course – Public ForumGolf Course Financial Analysis Whilst Under Control of Council
Leeton Golf Course – Public Forum Cost of Council Facilites Per Rating Assessment Number of Assessments = 5148 Note: Golf Course is estimate of net cost only
Leeton Golf Course – Public ForumEstimated Operational Costs (Continued)
Leeton Golf Course – Public ForumIrrigation System • Estimate of between $400,000 to $600,000 to upgrade irrigation system • Currently the sprinklers in place are as below:
Leeton Golf Course – Public Forum Potential Future Options • No council involvement – relinquish trusteeship (revert back to crown for their consideration) • Council take over fully including memberships etc or still work with Soldiers Club who can coordinate memberships etc • Reducing the level of service to the course - e.g. frequency of mowing greens to be reduced by 50% (summer from 6 to 4, winter from 4 -2) • Reduce course to nine holes – reduce annual loss to $117,000 • Council involvement by offering financial incentive to an alternate body to operate the course (e.g. Golf Club Sub Committee)
Frequently Asked Questions Q) Why doesn’t Council charge the users the full cost of running the course? • Cost per membership would rise from projected $410 per membership to $1100 per membership. Thsi may result in a significant decline in use and lower income overall. If Council take on the facility it will balance user charges with a subsidy from ratepayers as it does with all its facilities. (e.g. sporting grounds, pools, library etc) • Who owns the land where the old Clubhouse was located? A) Leeton Soldiers Club • If sold who gets the money? A) National Australia Bank who have a mortgage over that land Q) Will there be Solar opportunities to reduce power costs • Council continues to investigate and implement power saving initiatives in all of its assets. The golf club would be under the same investigative process. Electricity Costs: 09/10 $15,693.96 11/12 $21,050.00
Frequently Asked Questions (cont) Q) Would the racecourse and trotting / rules club be incorporated into future expansion. • The trotting and rules club is located in the showgrounds which Council is not trustee for. The Leeton Showground Trust is the trustee of this land. Council at present does provide maintenance assistance to this facility by mowing the main sporting ground. • Will automating water system assist with labour costs A) Yes however it is extremely expensive to purchase with an estimate of between $400,000 and $600,000 being provided to Council. • Why are the r & m expenses so high compared to labour A) This is not only repairs to assets but also costs of maintaining greens and fairways (e.g. fertilizer, chemicals, plant costs etc) • What are the rates set against ($13K) • The $13,389 highlighted in the 2012 financial information supplied by Leeton Soldiers Club is made up of rates of$4700 on the old golf club site, water charges of $3000 on old golf club site, and Murrumbidgee Irrigation water and access charges for 142 megalitres of general security allocation.
Frequently Asked Questions (cont) Who is maintaining the bowling greens and surrounds of the LSC? A) Leeton Soldiers Club – there is no sharing of staff between the two facilities. Council pays for the golf course staff and the Soldiers Club pays for the bowling green staff If Council take over will it control noxious weeds (khaki weed)? Yes What is the car parking arrangement in place? Use of the drill hall site is the current practice for the majority of golf course users. If this is sold off Council would be required to construct an alternate car park (estimated cost $182,000) What will be done with the current plant (mowers etc) on the course? A) Prior to the club be placed in voluntary administration the Soldiers Club had planned to hand over the plant on an “as is” basis if Council took on the course longer term. Council estimates that the plant has a replacement value of $365,000 but if handed over as is would require expenditure of $87,000 to bring it up to operational requirements.
Leeton Golf Course – Public ForumPresentation by Mr Michael Burton, President Leeton Soldiers Golf Sub Club
Leeton Golf Course – Public Forum Questions / Statements from the Public - Mayor of Leeton Shire Council – Cr Paul Maytom • Maximum 3 minutes per person for questions - a bell will be rung at 2 minutes and 30 seconds to give the speaker notice to finish up. • If information sought is not available at the meeting Council staff will take the name and address of the person who has raised the question and a written response will be provided to the person following the meeting.
Leeton Golf Course – Public Forum Closing Comments • Submissions in relation to Leeton golf Course and Council's potential involvement are now sought and can be submitted to: General Manager Leeton Shire Council 23-25 Chelmsford Place LEETON NSW 2705 • Written submissions MUST be received by Council by close of business on Friday 30 April 2013 for consideration by Council. • Council thanks everyone for your attendance and input into the process.