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GOLF COMPLEX LIKELY TO BE $200,000 OVER BUDGET

The proposed indoor driving range and miniature golf complex in the Town of Tonawanda probably will cost $200,000 more than the $2.3 million originally anticipated, town officials said this week.

The extra money will be put toward installing air conditioning and a more durable material on the facility's dome, according to Gary S. Lane, director of youth, parks and recreation.

Those added expenditures would increase the cost of the project, but they also would extend the life span of the dome and expand possible uses of it, he said.

"The project still looks like something we should get into doing," Councilman E. William Miller said.

Lane expects revenue from advertising will be at least $25,000 more annually than the $75,000 initially built into the budget. The town plans to handle the sale of naming rights to the complex, but has hired an outside firm to handle sales of advertising inside the dome.

The extra $200,000 for air conditioning and a stronger dome will cost the town $16,000 a year more in bond payments. Lane and Supervisor Carl J. Calabrese say they think the additional revenue from year-round programming made possible by air conditioning the dome will more than offset that difference.

Without air conditioning, temperatures inside the dome could reach as high as 110 degrees in warmer weather, effectively rendering it useless in summer.

The supervisor also said he hoped that once bids come in, the total project cost could be less than $2.5 million.

The complex will be situated in the Brighton Park area off Brompton Road, between the ice rink and the outdoor driving range.

Officials estimate it would earn the town $258,000 in profit each year after user fees are applied to payments on a 20-year bond. The town board is expected to decide next month whether to approve the bond resolution.

Lane originally budgeted $675,000 for the actual dome. After doing some research and visiting three other domes, he learned that spending more at the outset could save the town from replacing it sooner.

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