By KAREN LA PIERRE
This spring, golfers will enjoy a shady place with picnic tables to await tee times or eat lunch after city commissioners approved a new golf cart storage shed with an 8-foot awning at the commissions' regular meeting Thursday.
A microburst destroyed the golf cart shed at Fort Hays Municipal Golf Course during the summer. The new shed is expected to be completed by April 1.
The total cost of the building is $49,880, which includes the low bid from Quality Structure Inc. for $35,980. The funding will be provided from insurance and various park improvement funds.
City staff will provide concrete work on the new shed, which will be 30-by-60 feet. There will be no heat, air or insulation, and there will be no walls. The electrical work will be up for bid.
"There is a possibility that this could increase tournament revenues by making the tournaments larger," said Jeff Boyle, director of the parks department.
He said they lost a tournament last year because of lack of available space to sit and eat lunch.
The awning will be located on the cart path side.
The shed would have room to store eight more carts than what is available, if purchased.
There will be two garage doors, and the carts will be stored bumper-to-bumper.
The displaced golf carts have been stored in the existing course maintenance building and in the chemical shed. There is not enough available space or electrical capabilities to continue to store golf carts at those buildings.
The new storage shed will have space to charge the carts and keep them out of the weather. The carts are charged by a machine that must be kept out of the weather.
Earlier this month, Boyle gave his golf course tournament report. Revenue has increased as a result of the new fee schedule enacted for 2014.
The total tournament greens fees for 2014 was $18,005, an increase of $9,040 from the previous year.
Individuals participating in tournaments now pay $15 for green fees. Previously, tournament participants were charged an average of $6.73 for green fees.
Sixteen tournaments were at the golf course in 2014.
The contract for the future operation of the pro shop is coming up and is being reviewed, Boyle said.
"If we change the way we do business out there at the pro shop, there would definitely be additional money for the cart rentals," Boyle said.
He also thought on some Saturdays, every single cart could be rented.