Thursday, October 7, 1999

City & County of Honolulu

Council taking another
shot at municipal golf-
course charges

By Gordon Y.K. Pang


The City Council has scratched Mayor Jeremy Harris' plan to raise fees at municipal golf courses but now is pitching a new scorecard of rates.

Fees for 18 holes of golf and other services at the city's six courses would increase by $2, under a plan advanced by the Council Budget Committee yesterday.

That would mean weekday rates for residents would go to $12 from $10, weekend rates to $16 from $14. A public hearing on the issue is scheduled for Oct. 20.

Last spring, the Council shot down a plan by Harris to increase the rates by 50 percent after an outcry from golfers left some members worried that a hike would dissuade golfers from using municipal courses.

Administration officials said they need to weigh the new plan before taking a position.

The rate increase would generate an estimated $1.5 million more in revenues.

Alvin Au, city director of enterprise services, said golf fees bring in $10 million a year while operations and debt service total $17.3 million, meaning taxpayers are footing roughly 42 percent of annual costs.

"Golf is like our buses," Budget Chairwoman Rene Mansho said. "It is heavily subsidized by our taxpayers."

Councilman Duke Bainum said the new plan is "fairer" than the one proposed by Harris. He said he hopes Oahu golfers will realize that for years they've had to pay based on "a very, very reasonable rate schedule."

Other fee increases proposed under the plan:

Bullet Senior weekend rates would go to $16 from $14, weekday rates to $7 from $5. Monthly rates for seniors would go to $32 from $30.

Bullet Junior weekend rates would be $9 instead of $7, weekday rates $7 rather than $5. Monthly rates for juniors would go to $12 from $10.

Bullet Nonresident rates would increase to $42 from $40 for weekends and weekdays. Mansho said she'd like the Council to consider eliminating the nonresident rate to "show aloha" to Oahu visitors. Au said that would cost the city $180,000 in revenues.

Bullet Twilight or nine-hole rounds would be upped to $8 from $7 for adults and seniors on weekends. The weekday rate would go to $6 from $5 for adults and $3.50 from $2.50 for seniors. Juniors would pay $4.50 instead of $3.50 on weekends, $3.50 instead of $2.50 on weekdays.

Bullet Kahuku Golf Course rates, which traditionally have been cheaper, would go to $10 from $8 for adults and seniors on weekends. Adults would pay $8 instead of $6 on weekdays, seniors $4 instead of $2. Juniors would pay $5 rather than $3 on weekends, $4 instead of $2 on weekdays.

Bullet Motorized golf car rentals would go to $16 from $14 for 18 holes, $8 instead of $7 for nine holes. Hand carts would go to $4 from $2 for nine and 18 holes.

Bullet Locker rentals would be upped to $7 from $5.

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