Golf course concessions project proposal
The proposal put forth by Peter Gochis for the proposed takeover of the municipal golf course concessions was included in the packets for the commissioners at tonight’s Board of Park Commissioners meeting. This was first discussed at the December 14th meeting. To read the report from the December meeting, click here: Presentation on Golf Course Concessions.
Chairman Michael Orth met with the mayor and Gochis on this topic earlier today to toss around ideas. It will take approximately 90 days for the city to work out the complexities of having someone else run the operation.
Alderperson Rocco LaMacchia stated that he liked Gochis’ concept. “I’ve eaten at the Somers House, and their food is good. If that’s what you’re proposing to have there, I’m sure it will be good, also.” LaMacchia also stated that the rental agreement at the very end of the packet will have to be reviewed further so that it is fair for everybody. Gochis stated from the audience that the agreement is negotiable. “It’s a big risk for everybody, you included,” said LaMacchia.
Alderperson Anthony Kennedy asked if the process was to have the work bid out, and the reply from the chairman was yes. Kennedy expressed his concern that the proposal was now a public document, and because of that, his ideas would now be shared with any possible competitors. Gochis stated that he wasn’t concerned about that.
Kennedy asked again, as he did at the last meeting, for last year’s concessions revenue. Orth answered that the revenue was $23,000 last year for the golf course as a whole, and that the profit was $18,000. Kennedy wanted to make sure that we made “at least as much as we’re making now, if not more.” He also stated that he was glad to see that the building would get more usage.
Orth’s final comments were that the discussions on this concept should continue at the staff level. He and Jeff Warnock, park superintendent, will have a future discussion. The final decision will come from this body.
Other issues discussed at the meeting were:
- The approval of a professional services agreement with Engberg Anderson for the complete design work for the Southport Beach House. Shelley Billingsley reported that six requests for proposals were sent out. The work includes the north parapet wall which was damaged in the wind storm last June, an emergency exit on the north court, brick work, and tuckpointing the entire building. LaMacchia asked if we had done any work with this company before, and the answer was yes. A capital improvement plan amendment was approved in August to move $75,000 from the Southport ADA ramp to this design work. Fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) was received from the grant itself, for a total of $90,000, of which $38,000 has been currently committed.
- Billingsley also gave an update on the Pike River. Orth mentioned the recent Kenosha News article on portions of the river being placed on the DNR’s “impaired list.” Billingsley had provided information to the commission’s members. A coastal management grant was received to perform additional testing and restoration. Orth stated that this issue is more of the Storm Water Utility committee’s jurisdiction, but the main reason that Parks is concerned about the river is that the potential contamination could flow back into the lake and possibly close the lakefront beaches, which is something we would like to avoid.
- Billingsley also gave a status update on the stewardship grant applications. Kenosha received answers on three of the four grants which were applied for. Shagbark and Strawberry Creek will each receive $150,000, and Simmons Island will receive $249,000. The reply for the Poerio grant still has not been received. The final agreements will be brought to the Park Commission. These are all 50/50 matches. Once approvals are received, it was requested that public announcements be made. The commission will be kept up-to-date.
- Warnock reported on the Poerio Pond project. The pond has been backfilled and is now ready for grass seed. They are now working on the ice rink in the far northeast corner. There is already a clay base down, which will form a dish in itself. Lights are already there, and spot lights can be added, if needed. The membrane for the golf course ice rink is being picked up tomorrow. They will also start working on the Anderson Park parking lot. This will make three areas in the city itself for ice skating. Warnock stated that Pennoyer Park was not used for ice skating in the past and will not be used in the future because of ground leeching. Areas will then be reviewed on the west end of the city, possibly Sunrise Park and/or Strawberry Creek.
- Warnock also reported on the Alfred Warehouse fire. The fire inspector was scheduled to look at the facility last Thursday, but someone had broken in and stolen all of the copper wire. Therefore, there was nothing for him to inspect. Warnock estimates that there was $80,000 worth of content in the warehouse (wood, small playground equipment, boats, etc.). They feel that they have enough buildings currently. The plan is to clean out the facility and take down the walls. They will save the brick for Simmons Island or Southport. They plan on making use of free help from the various divisions to help with this work, not full-time employees.
- Mike Lemens, Director/City Engineer, was happy to report the good news on the grants. He also stated that there was a good response on the request for proposals, and that the commission made a wise choice today in their approval of the consultant. “The weather has been kind, and we’ve been able to get ahead on our maintenance work,” Lemens commented.
Kennedy asked if there were going to be any announcements, any grand openings, ribbon cuttings, etc., once the ice rinks are up and running. He also suggested a rotation on Channel 25.
Billingsley announced that there was going to be a second informational meeting on Pennoyer Park”s design on Thursday, from 5 to 6 pm, at the museum. She stated that they are 90% of the way there.
Orth also stated that Kenosha’s Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (CORP) Plan was submitted for national competition recognition.
LaMacchia asked Billingsley whether the redistricting boundary changes would affect Pennoyer’s infiltration basin. He asked her if the changes would affect the letters to be sent out, and she stated that she wasn’t sure, but that she would check on it.