Council OKs golf course aid
The Concord City Council last night approved using money from the city's general fund, which relies on tax revenue, to assist the financially beleaguered Beaver Meadow Golf Course.
The city-owned golf course is set up with a special fund, separate from the general fund, and is expected to run as a profitable enterprise. But the course has run big deficits in recent years, including an estimated loss of more than $141,000 in the fiscal year that ended June 30. That has put the golf course fund in the red.
Under the plan approved last night, planned spending at the golf course in fiscal 2013 will be reduced by more than $46,000. An additional $30,400 will be spent from the city's general fund to pay debt-service costs this year in this year's budget. The fund is still expected to run a deficit in fiscal 2013, but officials have said they hope the measures will give them time to turn around operations at the 18-hole course.
The measure passed last night on a voice vote as part of the council's consent agenda, without discussion or dissent.
In other business last night, the council, on a unanimous voice vote, tweaked the city's taxicab ordinance to, among other things, bar out-of-city taxicabs from picking up passengers in Concord unless they have a 'prior arrangement' and are going to 'destinations outside the city of Concord.'
David Weeks, owner of D&B Taxi and Courier Service, wrote a letter to City Manager Tom Aspell in April complaining that he'd seen taxis from Manchester, Laconia and other cities pick up fares at the bus station and other locations in Concord. He wrote that he pays fees to operate in Concord but was losing revenue to out-of-town cab companies.
The council also, on a 13-0 vote, approved spending an additional $450,000 on odor-control measures at the Hall Street Wastewater Treatment Plant. The council authorized nearly $2.1 million for the project last year but its budget is now estimated at a little more than $2.5 million. Construction is expected to start this fall and wrap up by late 2013.
The council last night also approved, on a series of unanimous votes, three measures related to the planned $2.1 million expansion and renovation of the Concord Boys & Girls Club on Bradley Street. The clubhouse stands on city land, and the council last night approved amending the lease and resolving several other issues with the property.
The councilors voted, 13-0, to approve issuing $110,000 in bonds to pay for an interim cover on the Old Suncook Road Landfill, which closed in the mid-1970s. The landfill is slated to get a $5.7 million permanent cap later this decade.
The interim cap is expected to cost $191,000; $250,000 was included in this year's capital budget for the project, but bids came in lower than expected. The bonds approved last night will be combined with leftover money from the fiscal 2012 budget to complete the project, according to Phil Bilodeau, deputy director of general services.
Also, the council voted to green-light an application for up to $12,000 in grant money from the federal Community Development Block Grant program. If awarded, the money would help Merrimack Valley Day Care study needed improvements to its North Fruit Street facility.
(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or email@example.com or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)