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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • City haggles over golf fees, nixes electric fences

  • City commissioners denied citizen requests for electric fences and designated parking in residential areas and tabled a proposal to raise fees at the municipal golf course.
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  • City commissioners asked for a re-evaluation of proposed fees for the Wildwood Municipal Golf Course after Parks Commissioner Jeff Crunk said increases should not be focused on season memberships.
    Golf Course Manager Jon Casey had proposed a 7 percent increase in overall fees, but said fees for visitors who "walk on" for a day's play should stay the same to be competitive with other courses.
    Walk-ons, people who do not have a season membership or 10-play card, provided about 58 percent of the golf course's revenue last year, and Casey suggested keeping fees the same to encourage growth in that area.
    Crunk said the visitors' play might create wear and tear on the course that reduces the play experience for members. He said he can not support a fee increase for members but not for walk ons.
    The proposed increase included 5 percent for family memberships and 10 percent for single memberships and 20.5 percent for 10-play cards.
    Casey said members still get value compared to the play experience and cost of playing at other courses. He said typically a golfer would have to play 35 times a year to break even on the costs for a membership, but Wildwood members would break even after 28 times on the course.
    "I don't think there is any denying it. We've got the best 9-hole course in the area," Casey said.
    Crunk said city golf course does not get the support it deserves from the city's own departments.
    Casey said the fire department, Nebraska City Tourism and Commerce and police have all had events at the course this year.
    Street Commissioner Dean Handy moved to accept the fee increase as proposed, but the motion died for a lack of a second.
    Commissioners then moved to table the issue pending a meeting with Crunk, Casey and City Administrator Joe Johnson.
    In other action, city commissioners denied citizen requests to allow electric fences and designate handicap parking stalls in residential areas.
    Darren Boyce of 505 N. 14th St. asked city commissioners to amend zoning regulations to allow his electric fence.
    It was placed near the ground behind another fence to prevent his dog from digging beneath the fence, but is in violation of a ban on electrical or barbed wire fences in residential areas.
    Dan Giittinger, public properties director, said electrical fences are typically not allowed in residential areas from a child protection and general safety standpoint. He said invisible fences are allowed, but not the energized wire strung with insulators on steel posts.
    Commissioners voted 4-0 against changing the ban on electric fences.
    Frances Nopp of 1516 Seventh Ave. asked the city to designate a handicap parking stall for her on the street near her home.
    Commissioners Mark Mercer and Dean Handy said the city does not want to set a precedent of setting aside parking spots on city streets. Mercer said it would be difficult for police to enforce and would change when a person moves.
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