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ANELLO CALLS AGAIN FOR HIKE IN GOLF RATES

Mayor Vince Anello wants the City Council to reconsider raising rates at the city's golf course, and Monday he presented recommendations from an advisory group.

"Something has to be done," Anello said after a work session. "You can't say, 'Run it like a business,' and then run it as usual."

He gave the Council a new report from the Golf Course Advisory Committee that included various options for raising rates.

Anello said the report is not ready to be released. "It's just an interoffice memo," he said. "It's meant to be talking points" for the Council.

The committee consists of fewer than 20 residents and city workers who Anello said have considerable experience at the golf course. He said he was frustrated that the Council rejected his proposed fee increase last month without consulting the group.

Last year, the Hyde Park Golf Course incurred a $334,416 operating loss, according to unaudited numbers submitted to the Council last month by City Controller Maria Brown.

That course's operating deficit is made up by tax dollars, and the rejected fee increase could have resulted in about $100,000 in additional revenue, Anello said.

Council members said they opposed the increase because it could deter golfers from purchasing season passes.

Anello said improving the greens is impossible without balancing some of the losses with new revenue.

During budget work sessions last fall, the Council instructed Brown to make the golf course an enterprise fund, meaning its costs and revenues would all be in a separate golf budget, Anello said.

This year, any revenue the course makes would go into that fund to pay for course improvements.

Councilman Lewis Rotella said that the committee never has approached the Council and that while he would consider a minimal increase of $25 for season passes, he would not approve more drastic hikes.

A special City Council meeting tentatively is scheduled Monday so the Council can act on fee changes for the coming season.

e-mail: gnorheim@buffnews.com

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