Cherry Hill Golf Course: always stormy
Red ink continues to outline Amherst's municipal white elephant -- the appropriately titled Cherry Hill Golf Course. Set against a bright blue sky background it might make an all-American logo for government waste and mismanagement.
Last year the beleaguered business lost $47,000 and this year -- at the half way point -- they are again on target to lose well over that amount.
Of course town officials will write it off as almost a wash or talk about "net operating profits" conveniently ignoring the hidden costs -- employee benefits, ($37,529) and capital improvements ($26,654).
Yes, the FY14 "operation budget" is $240,100 but the real cost of running the golf business this year is $304,283. And with total revenues now at season closure standing at only $90,701 (below last year's $96,537) safe bet the course will not even generate the $242,569 total it did in FY13.
So my conservative projection for total losses in the this fiscal year finishing June 30 is $60,000 -- or a little over the cost of one full time firefighter, police officer or yes, even a teacher (well, almost).
Next year (FY15) will be exponentially worse since the (hidden) capital improvements cost will be in the $100,000 range.
Time to board up the sinking sand trap.
Five year plan for capital improvements (not part of "operation budget")