Planning a budget for a year down the road is difficult while dealing with a pandemic.
But the Recreation Centers of Sun City West’s Budget and Finance Committee voted unanimously May 12 to move the 2020-21 proposed capital budget on to the RCSCW governing board. Chairman Jim Young, Marshall Adams, George Kuchtyak, John Hobold, John Nicholas, Harry Stannebein, Lisa Vines and Anne Brownwe make up the committee and weeded through spending and revenues with the help of RCSCW officials. The RCSCW board will vote 9 a.m. Thursday, May 28 on approval of the budget.
RCSCW General Manager Bill Schwind explained to the committee the phenomenon of looking back and any time a lag in annual fees occurs, typically there will be a double digit increase the following year. But Mr. Schwind and staff are proposing a 3.5 percent increase for fiscal year 2020-21.
“We are looking down the road when it comes to home sales and golf revenue and those are the large drivers when it comes to our association and those are variables when it comes to the financial and virus crisis. We don’t know what is ahead when it comes to the fall and that is golf season,” Mr. Schwind said. “Any declines in golf play will effect our revenues. We still have a pulse when it comes to selling homes. Those two revenue generating factors are variables. Membership is solid and so hence the recommendation with the fee increase we are proposing.”
Committee member Gerry Connor said recognizing the uncertainty of the future about golf and the fact that RCSCW officials cannot use reserve funds to pay operating costs, is the association sufficient enough in raising membership fees to protect a possible significant drop in golf revenues. RCSCW CFO Pete Finelli said with golf having new criteria with 10-minute intervals in between groups and the Sports Pavilion looking at possible changes with open lanes in between bowlers, there will be some impact.
“If golf trips up and we see declines in bowling or APF sales our initial reaction wasn’t necessarily to rack up more fees, but strike down the projects that can be delayed. Of the $1.8 million, half of those dollars are aren’t new. That is the angle we are taking at this time. The 3.5 percent increase is to cover our base cost that are going up in insurance and with the minimum wage. I know it comes at an inopportune time,” Mr. Finelli said.
With the proposed increases in golf fees, viewable at suncitywest.com, committee member Lisa Vines asked if employees at the golf courses pay to play.
“Employee golf rates have been increased to $12 per round and if they play during twilight or weekends there is no charge and on average that brings in $35,000 annually,” Mr. Schwind said.
RCSCW officials put the Grandview Golf Course, 14260 W. Meeker Blvd., irrigation replacement project on hold until fiscal year 2021-22. The total project cost delayed is $4,898,680.
Potential deferred projects include a total of $1,706,520 in the event revenues are not meeting projections.
Golf maintenance equipment total of $734,382 includes mowers, tractors, aerators and grinders. The Desert Trails Golf Course, 22525 N. Executive Way, bunker project includes 30 bunkers with the useful life of 13 years at a cost of $290,000. Golf maintenance vehicles total $253,004. Pebblebrook Golf Course, 18836 N. 128th Ave., shoreline repair on hole 18 at a cost of $221,450 and putting green replacement at $90,000. Included in the project is the installation of 1,200 linear feet of block wall. The Pebblebrook Golf Course parking lot mill and resurface is listed at a cost of $187,000.
Additionally, 25 golf cars are to be purchased for $123,600 with the current inventory average age of 9.5 years.
In the area of repair and replacement for recreation centers, the total is $2,716,524. Proposed projects include Palm Ridge Recreation Center, 13800 W. Deer Valley Drive, parking lot and lighting, upgrading Sports Pavilion scoring system, HVAC units, Beardsley Recreation Center, 12755 W. Beardsley Road, roof, R.H. Johnson Recreation Center, 19803 R.H. Johnson Blvd., flooring in swim and fitness, library roof and other projects under $100,000 totaling $864,313.
Recreation center new construction totals $829,200 for the following projects — metal shop, Beardsley Park transformer, Memo’s gas line project, Kuentz Recreation Center, 14401 R.H. Johnson Blvd., expansion and fitness room equipment, east property fence replacement, and tables and chairs for Palo Verde Patchers new club room.
A full list of projects can be found on suncitywest.com.