It seems that in spite of stiring up anger among some members of the Monticello City Council, Mayor Doug Allen made a good decision when he made changes to a March 26 agenda item regarding the creation of a Board of Directors for the Hideout Golf Club.
At the April 9 meeting, the City Council received notification from the City Attorney of possible legal implications and his advise against the creation of such a board.
Based on this, Councilman Jeremy Hoggard made a motion to decline the recommendation to transition the Golf Committee into a Board of Directors, and give direction to the golf committee to set a specific list of quality standards and expectations within two weeks, to be given to the City Manager to follow through with City personnel.
The golf committee was also asked to revise their by-laws at their next meeting, if needed, to address course conditions and standards. The three members of the council present voted in favor of the motion.
Councilman Walter Bird said he had received several comments from the public in the past few weeks regarding the issue. He said it was wise to take the issue slowly. Bird said there is some perception among the community that the Board of Directors wanted to take over the course and supervise employees, but that he did not think that was ever the intent of the people on the committee.
He said the intent, in his opinion, is to improve the golf course. He supports the committee having more viable input on the course.
Councilman Jerry Ward said, “I am willing to give this one shot, one season, and if there is no improvement, whether it’s break even or make a buck or two, then I am going to be looking to sell it at the end of this golf season. . . so we don’t waste any more time or money on it.”
Ward told the council it would be nice to keep track of every penny earned and spent so they can get an accurate accounting of what the course is doing when it comes time to evaluate it at the end of the year.
Mayor Doug Allen said that it is important to remember that the golf season and the budget year are on different schedules, and therefore it is important to remember that the last six months of the previous season would affect the first six months of the current season.
City Manager Myron Lee said that based on the differences in budget year and golf season, it would be difficult but not impossible to track the expenditures and revenue.
On a positive note, Lee told the council he has reviewed the issue, and looking at the golf course plan in 2002, that the course should turn a profit in it’s fifth year in existence. He pointed out that there were several things in the plan, specifically in the area of marketing, that were not followed.
“But it should be noted that the golf course has shown an increase of revenue, year after year, for the last five years running, and this year does show some promise,” said Lee. He also told the council that the input on necessary changes from the golf committee is needed as soon as possible so they can be implemented right away.
Bird said he thinks they are ready with several suggestions. The golf season was scheduled to open yesterday (Tuesday, April 15).
In other business, City Manager Lee brought the drug free work place personnel policy before the council for review. He asked the council for their consent to work with the Mayor and city staff, toward a better drug policy and potentially review other city employee policies for possible revisions. The council agreed that the policy needed to be reviewed, as it was last updated in the 1970’s.
City Resident John Black approached the City Council asking for assistance with the deer population in Monticello. He cited several instances of people in his neighborhood who have had hundreds of dollars of damage to trees that were destroyed by the deer.
Black said that the Division of Wildlife Resources will not do anything to remove the deer unless the city makes a request for such. Black asked the council to schedule a vote on the issue.
Black said that the Constitution of the United States is about protecting property rights, not protecting the deer. He felt that there were several methods the DWR can use to take care of the problem.
A group of fifth grade students from Monticello Elementary School approached the council asking for their support by making a donation of $150 to pay for a bus to take the entire fifth grade to the State Capitol and meet with Governor John Huntsman.
The class has been studying US History and government, and about important events and people in American history. One of the impressive feats of the students was memorizing the Gettysburg Address. There was a consensus from the council that they will approve the amount at their next meeting.
The council also agreed to donate two 9 hole rounds of golf to the Monticello PTA to use as prizes for their fun run on May 3.
Two public hearings were held regarding a proposed zone change from agricultural to residential, and a subdivision on 500 North between 300 and 450 East. The proposal is currently for two units. Hearing no negative comments during the public hearings, the council approved the zone change and also approved the HNW Subdivision.
An alcohol license was approved for the Hideout Golf Course.