Monticello City talks golf, park fence
by David Boyle
The Monticello City Council heard a season-end report from the Hideout Golf Club and approved a new fence at Pioneer Park after a generous donation offer at their latest meeting
At the November 8 meeting, the Council heard from Golf Superintendent Caleb Bailey as well as Golf Pro Jeff Simons at the end of the Hideout season.
Bailey reported on a new beautification feature at the pond on the 18th hole. The overflow system will better hold water. Clearing weeds from the pond is next, as well as a weed sprayer to keep unwanted growth out of the pond.
Winter preparation includes working with a Colorado company to customize fertilizers.
Bailey said the company took soil samples on the Hideout greens and fairways as well as city ball fields to understand soil nutrient content and create custom fertilizer. The city will apply a winter fertilizer on the Hideout greens to prevent disease.
Bailey reported that his department is caught up on irrigation repairs for the golf course, excluding a few slow-leaking sprinklers. Last year the sprinklers were cleared in one day, and there was damage to the system. More time was used this fall.
“We took five days to do it, so we hope to have more success this spring when we turn the water back on.”
Bailey also discussed equipment needs. Bailey said typically golf courses need two fairway mowers, two green mowers, one or two tee mowers, and two rough mowers. The Hideout has one of each mower, and no rough mower.
Bailey said a new rough mower could cost $80,000 but he presented a multi-purpose machine with attachments to act as a rough mower and aerator for $52,000.
“To be successful at the golf course, we need a lot of equipment, but now I’m just asking for one piece of equipment to help us move along for at least the next two-three seasons.”
Also presenting at the meeting was Hideout Golf Pro Jeff Simons.
Simons reported overall revenue was up $3,542 from last year. The Hideout saw nearly $4,000 increase in food and beverage revenue and $19,000 in merchandise revenue. Simons reported great turnout at tournaments and junior golf clinics.
Despite the positives, the Hideout saw 1,300 fewer rounds of golf with $16,000 less revenue from green fees.
“There are all kinds of reasons for it,” said Simon. “The course wasn’t as good, the gas prices too high. We can argue over all kinds of things probably a lot of it but if you combine them together is probably what happened.
“You obviously saw many comments that were frustrating. That was frustrating for us as a staff as we had to deal with it daily. We did our best. Sometimes it wasn’t great but we did our best.”
Simons added that looking forward the Hideout has a great opportunity after being ranked the number one course in Utah in GolfWeek Magazine and the #36 in the nation.
Simons reported those rankings helped drive avid golfers to the Hideout from states as far away as Florida, and New York, as well as international golfers from England, Switzerland, and Germany.
Simons said those rankings bring high expectations.
“Golfers will start with the greens. If you have good greens you’ll be forgiven for a lot, If you have good tee boxes you’ll be forgiven for a lot and it basically goes down, green tees, fairways, sand traps, down that list. We’re finicky about what we like and how we like it.”
Simons also reported after not raising fees for three years the Hideout will need to charge more next season.
Rates will probably rise from $46 to to around $55 a round next year. Simons suggested a $50 locals card for one round of golf and $46 for future rounds.
Simons also requested leases of 50 new golf carts. Simons said carts are needed but the city should prioritize maintenance equipment.
The city council also approved fence materials at Pioneer Park across from the Post Office on Main Street.
At the last council meeting, the Rotary Club explained the old wooden fence was in poor condition. Two of three neighbors that share the fence agreed to pay half of the materials, while the Rotary Club will provide labor to install the fence.
Some members of the city council were hesitant to allocate $9,000 for the project until the city creates a priority list of needs in the city.
However, a city resident offered to pay half of the city cost. The donor remains anonymous, and the council approved the project.
Councilman Kevin Dunn reported on efforts to install a warning light near the Main Street crossing to the elementary school.
The Council is selecting an auditor, a process expedited as the city is filing late with the state.
“We have prepped them for that, we’re going to be a bit behind,” said Interim City Manager Kaeden Kulow.
The Council also accepted an offer from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and US Forest Service to act as a cooperating agency for the Bears Ears National Monument Resource Management plan.