A round of golf at Hyde Park this year will cost the same as last year, but the post-match meal won't be the same.
A crowd of golfers attended Monday's City Council meeting to learn the fate of a pair of issues related to the course. Many were there to oppose the city's agreement to let Greater Niagara Sports Group operate half the city's golf course in exchange for improvements. They applauded after the Council unanimously rejected a concession agreement recommended by Mayor Vince Anello to give a five-year lease for the Greens Restaurant at $6,000 annual rent to Hyde Park Restaurant Corp.
The offer was made by Steve Trincanati, a principal with Greater Niagara Sports Group, which gained the agreement to maintain and operate the city's two nine-hole courses last year and has no restaurant background.
"If they come back and have a better resume for running a restaurant, I will consider it," said Councilman Lewis Rotella.
The last two restaurant operators paid at least $25,000 a year to rent the Greens but dropped out of their contracts with the city because they couldn't make a profit, Anello said.
Council members rejected the agreement because they felt it needed required hours of operation during the golf season and a contribution by the tenant for heating and cooling the restaurant.
"We may end up paying them to run this restaurant," Walker said. "We need a more clear breakdown. What are they getting for $6,000?"
Rotella said he was concerned that the corporation hasn't been formed yet. Trincanati said Monday before the vote that his plan was to bring in culinary arts students from Canisius College and Niagara County Community College, as well as the business program at Niagara University to oversee operations and choose a restaurateur to sublease to if the deal was approved.
Council members said they wanted to know who would run the facility before they approved a deal.
"It just needs some revisions," Rotella said. "I have no problem with the $6,000."
Anello expressed frustration after the meeting that these concerns were not brought to his attention before.
"If they're not going to allow a legitimate company to operate the restaurant, my plan is vending machines," Anello said. "Who knows, (the City Council) might vote down vending machines because they don't like the color."
Anello pulled a recommendation for a new fee schedule at the 4 p.m. work session because Rotella told him other Council members would not pass it, he said.
The Council rejected raising golf rates in February that would have brought in $100,000 in additional revenue to offset what is expected to be at least an annual $300,000 loss at the course.