Wednesday, November 12, 2008
There he goes again...
In America’s national pastime you’re only allowed three strikes and in today’s crusty Gazette the Town Mangler strikes out, lying for the third time about the finances of the Cherry Hill Golf Course by insisting the Money Pit is actually making money.
At the close of FY07 LSSE marketing flacks issued a press release claiming $7,200 in profit (by ignoring $31,000 in hidden costs paid from other parts of the overall budget). Shaffer crossed a line when he told the Select Board Cherry Hill required “no tax support". Even Finance Committee chair Alice Carlozzi disagreed with that assessment.
And this spreadsheet from Comptroller Sonia Aldrich created four months ago proves it. Note very bottom line, where FY07 shows up as a $10,708 loss instead of $7,200 profit):
If Cherry Hill really can carry its own bloated weight, including Big-Ticket capital items (this years $22,000 lawn mower) why did Assistant Town Mangler John Musante say back in April when asked when Cherry Hill would be "fully self-sufficient and pay its own capital too?"
Musante responded sheepishly, "We haven't given that serious consideration because the revenue has not been there."
Amherst Bully (for them) article
And it's not there now either. Revenues for the first half of the current Fiscal Year (July 1-Nov 1) are a pretty paltry $110,000, including concessions. Dan Engstrom the twenty-year manager who was fired 3/17/07 told the Select board the easy way to project total annual intake is to simply double the amount at Fall closing.
Thus under Engstrom’s formulae Cherry Hill will generate $220,000 total. Yes, the operation budget is only $208,000 but that does not include hidden costs of employee benefits, clubhouse insurance and liability insurance (the Finance Committee in FY07 pegged that total at $31,612). Or the $22,000 capital item, a lawn mower.
Even more important, factor in the $30,000 guaranteed annual payment from Niblick Management to privately manage the 9-hole-course. South Hadley pays a management company $515,000 to run their 18 hole White Elephant.
With all costs considered Cherry Hill's break even point is $290,000; and with the year half over it's safe to assume they will will once again miss the green.