“City Government 101” is an ongoing series that debuted in April 2023 and highlights different aspects of municipal government as it pertains to Columbus, Nebraska, in hopes to provide information on how the City of Columbus operates.
Every City of Columbus department head was recently asked some questions in regard to their department, the current fiscal year budget and plans for their department in the upcoming fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2023-Sept. 30, 2024).
City golf courses fall under the leadership of the public property director.
DEPARTMENT: Golf courses
DEPARTMENT HEAD: Doug Moore
(Interview conducted in September 2023)
Q: How many people are in your department?
A: 3 full time employees
Q: How long have you been the head of your department?
A: Since 2007
Q: How do you think things went for your department in fiscal year 2022-2023?
A: We are getting closer to pre-flood conditions at Quail Run. Revenues were up considerably with the increase in rates and more rounds being played at both Quail Run and Van Berg. Fairways continue to improve at Quail Run as we transition from ryegrass to bluegrass, fairways at Van Berg are already bluegrass and are well established and in excellent shape. With the retirement of Keith Kline as golf superintendent, there is always concern about the new leadership team. Shawn Reidmiller has hit the ground running and has maintained both courses while incorporating some new ideas and techniques to try and improve play at both courses.
Q: What were at least two of your department’s biggest accomplishments in the last fiscal year (and why)?
A: Replacing the irrigation pumps was very important this year. Since we were down to pumping approximately half of capacity and with a severe drought, we had struggled to provide enough water for the course the last couple of years. With the new pumps, we can pump more water in a shorter amount of time, the new pumps are more energy efficient so we are using less electricity to irrigate the same areas. We also added an additional cart path around the pro shop to make the area safer with less opportunities for accidents in the area.
Q: What are some of the problems your department faced in the last fiscal year and how did you overcome them?
A: The drought was a major problem trying to keep irrigation systems working properly and getting enough water to all areas of the golf courses, as I stated earlier the new pumps made a unbelievable difference. We had some costly equipment breakdowns that caused some major problems not only with repairs but some of the equipment took weeks and on one occasion a month to get repaired. Fortunately, we were able to use some equipment from other departments to get by. We also had a problem with the fairway of hole 5 at Quail Run. There was a problem with fairway accepting water, it would just run off, Shawn tried some things and thru some different techniques and some chemical applications was able to solve the problem.
Q: What are at least 3 major things you’re wanting your department to accomplish in fiscal year 2023-2024 and how is the new budget going to improve that?
A: Currently our rough mower is the piece of equipment that gives us the most problems with a lot of breakdowns and costly repairs, we have a new unit in the budget which will be much more reliable and be a major savings on maintenance costs. We will also be purchasing additional golf carts for Van Berg. With the increased use of Van Berg, we never have enough carts for everyone that wants to use them. This will provide additional service to the golfers and increase revenue at the course. We will be undertaking a renovation to the pro shop at Van Berg. This will involve changes that will be used for youth golf instruction and will allow the area to be used during the winter for golf activities.
Q: What can the public expect from your department in the next fiscal year?
A: We hope to continue to make improvements that increases participation in golf in Columbus while making your experience at Van Berg and Quail Run golf courses more enjoyable.
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