Apple Valley City Council can vote on deals this winter
Proposed changes to improve the golfing experience at Valleywood Golf Course in Apple Valley may become a reality by 2023, when the city council awards bids this winter.
On November 9th, the council voted to approve an addendum to an agreement with Norby Golf Course Design that includes the preparation of plans, specifications, tenders and construction supervision for the first phase of the proposed golf course improvements. Recommended projects include tree management, driving range improvements, and improvements to the third, 15th, 17th and 18th holes.
“All improvements are in line with the business plan and should help improve playability, reduce maintenance costs, improve drainage, increase driving range revenues and increase overall customer satisfaction,” said the city report from November 9th. “Additional improvements that are described in the master plan will be implemented in the coming years depending on the available funding.”
Parks and Recreation director Eric Carlson said the course ended with nearly 39,000 rounds of golf played in 2021. The course averages 31,000 rounds annually. Valleywood closed its golf operations for the year on November 9th.
The city council approved a new 10-year business plan for the city’s 18-hole golf course in July. The document contains projections of sales, potential capital improvements, and other goals. The city also hired Norby Golf Course Design to review Valleywood and prepare a renovation plan.
In October the council approved the establishment of a Valleywood Improvement Fund; an agreement on new landmarks on the golf course and purchase orders related to the replacement of the golf course’s aging irrigation system.
Carlson said the city’s estimated investment for the projects outlined Nov. 9 would be $ 135,000 for the driving range without replacing the entire grid system; $ 366,045 for third, 15th, 17th and 18th hole improvements and $ 125,000 for tree management.
Carlson said the signs approved in October have been ordered and the city is awaiting production and installation.
The parts and materials for the irrigation system have been ordered and the city is waiting for delivery. The plans are ready for the bidding process.
City officials will also work to identify the areas for tree reduction, soliciting bids and taking action from the council to get a contract in November or December. The Council is also asked to approve specifications for the course improvements in December and offers for these projects in January. If all is supported by the community, construction would begin in the fall of 2022, according to Carlson.
During the November 9 working session, some council members said they were tired of talking about the golf course.
Councilor Ruth Grendahl said golf course improvements should be part of a referendum on park bonds as the golf course accounts for 21% of total city park land.
Councilor John Bergman said he was willing to spend the money on the first phase of improvements, but “after that, it has to be essentially internal; It’s what goes into these four walls of this building that generates the money to (finance) whatever else needs to be done. “
Councilor Tom Goodwin said the clubhouse needs to see an increase in events for Valleywood to become more profitable.
“Another 1,000 rounds of golf, that’s wonderful, but it will be the events that bring this place to zero,” he said. “And that has everything to do with the building and the parking lots and nothing to do with the golf course.”
Mayor Clint Hooppaw said staff should be commended for having played 39,000 rounds of golf this year, but the city cannot count on it every year. He agreed with Goodwin that events must increase. He suggested attracting more company dinners or banquets to the clubhouse.
“I’ve heard from a number of people lately that they are having difficulty finding a seat for a 30-person dinner in our current restaurants,” he said.