At the golf course, a new inline filter and pump house repairs were budgeted for 2018. With the changing of the guard at the golf course, newly-appointed clubhouse operations director Erik Hansen is now recommending that a portion of those budgeted funds instead be spent on an irrigation system master plan.
Town administrator Greg Brinck said the master plan will be prepared by Irrigation Technologies, the same firm that did an audit at the golf course several years ago.
"We want to make sure we're taking the right steps, and not causing future problems," Brinck told town trustees at their Feb. 15 meeting.
For a fee of $2,450, Irrigation Technologies will spend one day on site to review and examine the existing irrigation infrastructure and operational procedures. The irrigation assessment report developed in 2013 will be referenced and used as a general guide for the development of an irrigation system master plan.
As outlined in the contract with Irrigation Technologies, the report is expected to examine the history of the golf course, identify the average annual water use, current water rights, available storage, other users on the system, identify the estimated remaining life of key irrigation system components, identify potential cost and/or water saving opportunities, estimate the cost to design and implement each master plan phase/component, identify phases that may be completed by golf course staff and identify a logical progression to implement the recommendations.
Agreeing the master plan is "a wise idea," trustees unanimously approved the contract with Irrigation Technologies.
They also agreed to reallocate $2,500 budgeted for carpet upgrades in the pro shop. At Hansen's recommendation, the funds will instead be used for new driving range balls and for rental golf clubs. "They are both revenue generators for the town," Hansen said.
Hansen said he has done a little remodeling in the pro shop and is placing orders for personalized merchandise with local firms, rather than ordering directly from the manufacturer as has been the practice.
Hansen also provided an update on golf course operations. During the unusually mild month of January, the golf course saw 365 golfers, compared to zero over the past three years.
The golf course is closed on Mondays. Use of golf carts is restricted to Wednesdays and Fridays to accommodate older Century Club golfers. The rest of the week, golfers must walk to protect the greens and fairways.
Hansen also talked about marketing efforts, saying he is turning his focus to Grand Junction because the golf course has seen an increase in the number of golfers traveling from that area.
"I've got a very positive outlook on this year," Hansen told the trustees.
Steve Pierce, a resident of the golf course neighborhood, said eight new taps in the developments surrounding the golf course have generated $160,000 for the town. He has formed a nonprofit, OB Promotions, to promote the course and get kids involved in the sport.
The seventh annual Eckert Crane Days, the annual viewing of the sandhill cranes migrating north from New Mexico through Colorado's West Slope, will be March 16-18. Representatives from the Black Canyon Chapter of the Audubon Society (BCAS) will be at the viewing site east of Eckert at Fruitgrowers Reservoir, 9 to 11 a.m. each day, to answer questions and provide binoculars and spotting scopes.