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Proposals for golf course maintenance sought

City Council chose at path to what they believe would be a more transparent process in providing maintenance at the city-owned golf courses.

During its meeting Tuesday, council members chose not to expand the current management contract to include maintenance, and instead asked staff to request proposals for a new contract to maintain Boulder City Golf Course and Boulder Creek Golf Club.

Currently, Turf Tech handles the maintenance at the two courses and its $1.58 million annual contract expires June 30.

Tuesday, Purchasing Manager Paul Sikora said staff was recommending Andy Schaper’s management contract be expanded to include maintenance, which would cost the city about $900,000 annually, saving approximately $95,000.

Councilwoman Judy Hoskins asked how they could award a contract of this amount without going through a competitive process.

Sikora said he and staff believed that state law provided an exemption because the contract was for professional services and Schaper’s status as a golf professional with the Professional Golfers’ Association of America fell under that.

“I don’t believe that’s an exceptional answer,” Hoskins said.

She said Schaper was excellent at managing the golf courses but she was worried there would only be one contract.

“If you fail to maintain the grounds and you have one contract, it appears that you’ll lose the whole entire contract,” she said.

Schaper said he understood that failure was not an option and that he planned to hire the best professionals he could find to handle the maintenance.

“At any point in time, I’m willing to make this work for you guys and for me,” he said. “I’m willing to do what I need to do.”

He also said if the city wanted to stay with two contracts, it should contact Turf Tech and have them come back because of the “phenomenal job” they’ve done.

“Why aren’t we starting a new contract with Turf Tech?” Councilwoman Tracy Folda asked.

Sikora said he had been told that the former city manager informed Turf Tech in November 2018 that when its five-year contract was up he intended to pursue one combined agreement.

“I don’t see any way of doing this without going through a competitive process,” said Mayor Kiernan McManus.

“I wonder if it wouldn’t be in the public’s best interest to see that we are trying to be transparent, that we are trying to make sure that we are covering all our bases to go through that process,” added Councilman James Howard Adams.

Councilwoman Claudia Bridges said she supported Schaper in taking over the maintenance contract.

“He takes good care of a lot of spinning pieces,” she said.

She made a motion to approve expanding his contract, but it died for lack of a second.

In a 4-1 vote, council approved having staff draft a proposal for maintenance at the golf courses. Bridges voted against it.

Sikora said staff will be soliciting proposals for just the maintenance labor costs as well as one that was all-inclusive for labor and supplies.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, council did not approve a ballot question about capital improvements at the airport.

When it was originally presented Jan. 12, council members expressed concern about ambiguity in the question and included discussion of an air traffic control tower, which McManus said he believed was a way to make the airport busier.

The proposed question would ask voters: “Should the city of Boulder City authorize building and capital improvement projects to be made at the Boulder City Municipal Airport that would specifically facilitate the increase of flight traffic at the airport and increase usefulness for aircraft larger than that of what has historically been present at the airport?”

Hoskins presented a more specific question she had drafted that asked: “Should the city of Boulder City authorize the construction of an additional runway and/or runway extension to be built at the Boulder City Municipal Airport that would specifically facilitate the increase of flight traffic at the airport and increase usefulness for aircraft larger than that of what has historically been present at the airport?”

“I’m happy Councilwoman Hoskins suggested this. … For me personally, I don’t think the first question will get us anywhere,” said Adams.

McManus disagreed.

“This question is about one thing, do we want a larger airport or not?” he said.

He called for a motion to approve the first question, which failed in a 2-3 vote. He and Folda voted for it, and the rest of the council voted against it.

Three other proposed ballot questions about updating or replacing the Boulder City Municipal Pool are still being held in abeyance until more details about funding the possible projects are available.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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