Third-pass HI budget garners $100,000 more in income

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

If the Holiday Island Suburban Improvement District (HISID) Board of Commissioners passes 2005 third-pass budget recommendations, the district stands to gain about $100,000 in increases in amenities and assessments.

Along with a reduction in expenses by $18,838, mostly in the water and sewer departments, this will bring the projected budget deficit from $227,691 down to $107,036. This can be funded from unrestricted, undesignated reserves, District Manager Kevin Crosson told the board Monday.

And if the district implements further suggestions for amenities increases made by Golf Pro Steve Cain, the district will gain an additional $8,400 in income.

Commissioners said they mostly agreed with the recommendations.

Cain's suggested increases are as follows:

  • $50 increase to the full family rec/golf card, from $350 to $400.

  • $50 increase to the single rec/golf card, from $200 to $250.

  • $3 increase in day use fees for golf, from $7 to $10.

  • $20 increase in cart (trail fees), from $130 to $150.

    Cain did not recommend an increase in greens fees, which Commissioner Dick Lytle disagreed with.

    "I'm concerned that if we raise all the other fees and don't raise greens fees, the property owners are picking up the tab," he said. "I can tell you just based on my experiences, (raising greens fees) wouldn't deter people from coming to play golf."

    "If we raised fees, it would probably send the tourists to play afternoon golf," Cain said.

    He said as of the end of October, 22,000 rounds of golf had been played, 16,000 of them by property owners and the remainder by guests.

    "Guest rounds are potential property owners," said Crosson.

    Chairman Boyce Williams expressed concerns about raising fees on activity cards by Cain's suggested amount.

    "You will have another chance to change this when we revise Regulation 26," Crosson said.

    Commissioners also discussed "spot leasing" golf carts to increase the district's ability to pay its lease of 30 carts. Cain also recommended lowering the cart lease fees as an incentive to get property owners to give up their private carts.

    He said Holiday Island is $50-75 below other courses on cart leases and $150-200 below on trail fees.

    "If we could get 50 people leasing at $500, we'd have half our lease paid for," he said. He said between now and February the district only needs 15 carts. "We don't need 30 carts in the winter."

    Crosson also presented the marketing plan to the board, having made modifications previously suggested to reduce its initial funding request from $40,000 to $30,000.

    Commissioners expressed concerns that the plan focuses heavily on the Holiday Island Chamber of Commerce taking major responsibility for implementing the plan when it has been having problems with retaining leadership.

    Crosson acknowledged the chamber is "in its infancy" but said he believes most businesses in Holiday Island are members of it.

    One part of the plan is for the district office to serve as a central answering service for the chamber during office hours.

    Initial actions to begin marketing Holiday Island include distributing the Holiday Island News to all property owners on a monthly basis; generating a brochure which includes amenities fees; funding for direct contact with prospective buyers; funding for promotional golf; and placing magazine ads.

    Questions came from the audience about whether use of the developer's logo and use of district funds for marketing are legal. Crosson said the agreement with the developer includes use of the logo.

    On funds for marketing, he said he had checked with legal counsel and received a verbal statement that there is legal precedent for using funds in that manner. He will obtain a written opinion.

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