Comments on: Next Step Taken on Huron Hills Proposal it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: Ruth Kraut Ruth Kraut Tue, 07 Dec 2010 09:30:16 +0000 I don’t understand why we (the City and its taxpayers) would float bonds for something that we already own and that is not going to add a significant new type of program to the City and its environs.

By: DrData DrData Tue, 07 Dec 2010 03:10:08 +0000 The first time I read through the non-profit proposal, I was underwhelmed by it. But, on the second pass, I thought it was the better of the two – at least for the short-term.

Pulling something off like this is a big undertaking and may end up being more trouble than it is worth to these folks. This is especially true, if the course continues to bleed money. I think we would know in 5 years if this was a failure or not. Believe it or not citizen run things can/do work. Look at the “Big Heart Run.” That was conceived by a citizen, not the city. Likewise, the AA/Dexter run is put on by the AA Track Club.

If the non-profit group failed, the course could be mothballed and turned into a park (with no overhead $$ for the city).

The Miles of Golf proposal is a much riskier operation in that once the front 7 is ruined, you’ve lost the golf course forever if/when the MoG venture fails. You’ve also poured 3.2 (more likely 5 million onto the course via the clothing/equipment store and the new clubhouse. So, you have to sell the front 7 to recover that.

I thought awhile back there was talk about privatizing the course, ala Republic Parking. That option sure looks more attractive than Miles of Golf.

By: Paul Bancel Paul Bancel Tue, 07 Dec 2010 02:30:15 +0000 Let’s be clear. Miles of Golf has been represented on the Golf Advisory Task Force, one of the governing bodies of golf in Ann Arbor for the past three years.

Tom Bendelow’s orignal design may be found only amongst the grasses of the fairways,but his spirit and legacy promoting public golf is a genuine legacy of the course and may be found in his biography. Bagger Vance and Tom Bendelow walk the fairways arm in arm wondering why anyone would plow under a course for a driving range. A driving range is to golf like a weight room is to football. It is not the game.

Kalamazoo,San Antonio and Baltlimore all operate their golf courses through nonprofits, at no cost to the taxpayer and at significant benefit to the cities.

By: angel xix angel xix Mon, 06 Dec 2010 23:51:54 +0000 For those of you who actually did do the math, the staffing calculations in point #1 above are almost half right.
My apologies to the Chronicle readers.
The correct answer is 2.81 (not 1.19) people available to run the Miles of Golf course operation during the season. Fewer available if better than minimum wage is paid by MoG for the two experienced staffers in question. That’s one for the clubhouse and two for the grounds at best.
A2 Golf would have more of a City-level staffing and then close for the winter.
One can always stop at Huron Hills to see how many are still there working on the City dole since the golf season “snow has flown”.

By: angel xix angel xix Mon, 06 Dec 2010 20:50:27 +0000 AA Golf was refjected because their bid had
1. No plan for staffing.
2. No key individual roles.
3. No financial references.

1. Miles of Golf allocates $90k for ten golf workers in their bid. Let’s say all ten earn the Minimum Living Wage of $11.71 to be fair.
For MoG, to generate as much revenue as the City plus 15% more, the golf course probably has to be open for no less time.
15 housr/day x 7days/week = 105 hours/week.x 26 weeks.= 2730 hours.
A normal full time is 40hours/week requiring 105/40 = 2.625 workers to cover the season load using only one person at a time.
So, 2.625workers x $11.71 x 105 hour/week = $3227.57/week x 26 weeks/season = $83916.79/season.
That leaves $90,000 – $83916.79 = $6083.21 for the other 7.375 workers to split.
$6083.21 / $11.71/hour = 519.49 hours or 519.49 / 2730 = 19.03% time-worker left available.
MoG has at most 1 1/5 people working Huron Hills at minimum wage. So, is the THE golf course staffing plan acceptable to the City ?
Ann Arbor Golf promised to pay the going market rate for two key staff who, paraphrasing MoG at the meeting ‘knew more about the course than anybody else’.
Clearly any increase in pay for those new MoG umbrella people would further reduce the time available for the other 1/5th time-person to work.
If the Committee did their math (done), the Non-Profit bid (same operation and market rate for the pros) is obviously THE better plan to adequately staff and run a functional golf course. Or does the City really only use 1 1/5th people ?

2. Make no mistake. Chris Mile has been registered agent for Lake Country Distributing which owns the Miles of Golf alias – long before Doug Davis had anything to do with it.
Mile is the decision maker and sole corporate authority. If he wanted to, he could fail the company tomorrow.
The Non-profit has an equally-distributed board. A diverse and balanced democracy of likewise successful people actually living in Ann Arbor.
So, which portrays a more stable organization? Now add $3million tax-payer risk to MoG. Regardless of name “roles”, which would you trust more?

3. MoG has a $250k bank reference for Phase III – requiring the City to risk $3million. There is zero information provided regarding the first 3-5 years other than a 7 figure debt and 6 figure balance – not a reference.
The Ann Arbor Golf bid clearly stated it would form a non-profit shortly after bid win. For those
paying attention, that would be a TBD reference until incorporation (2011) and course revenue thereafter. No other debt or balance.
Unlike Miles of Golf, the City also holds a detailed database of Treasury information substantiating
the financial history of the A2 Golf board members – a pretty solid financial statement, if TBD (zero) isn’t worth more than a large debt.

For the City’s sake, let’s hope the Judge doesn’t know about politics and corruption, cannot play golf, and has a leaf & lawn service.

By: Ted Annis Ted Annis Mon, 06 Dec 2010 20:11:32 +0000 Folks,

The idea of converting pristine City parkland into a golf strip mall via a 20-year lease with the City funding this absurd “deal” is so bad that the judgment of the City officials and certain councilpersons is called into serious question.

Ted Annis