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GRF’s proposed 2024 capital budget

By Sam Richards

Staff writer

 

Friday, December 15, (3:30 p.m.) The process to refine the GRF’s proposed 2024 capital budget, and its companion 2024 machinery and equipment budget, continued last week with the GRF Planning Committee, which had few specific recommendations on winnowing expenditures but did ask department heads to come to January’s meeting with suggested reductions.

Committee members, however, had plenty of questions about why replacing certain pieces of equipment is deemed important, or in some cases, vital.

In many instances, the answer to those questions dealt with what happens when a piece of equipment fails. If its replacement isn’t already on hand, then budgeting for, and waiting for, a new one can be complicated and time-consuming.

For instance, referring to Director of Golf Mark Heptig’s request for a new fairway grass mower in 2024, General Manager Jeff Matheson laid out some of the possible consequences of saying no.

“Those mowers can’t go down for long without someone noticing the grass is longer,” Matheson said.

Such mowers run about $132,000, a major purchase. But Heptig said GRF’s mowers are used every day and are now more than a decade old. The new one would replace a 2008 model.

“After 11 to 12 years, they’re pretty beat up,” Heptig said. Replacing such an important piece of equipment, he added, “Goes to keeping up the quality of the (golf) courses.”

It was a similar conversation involving a budget request on the capital projects list, for $491,000 for “network gear replacement.” IT Manager Eric Loranger explained to the committee that network gears enable communication between computers. And with Rossmoor on the verge of replacing its 20-year-old Jenark master software program, such “gears” are needed for the NetSuite (Oracle) new system to work.

“That’s a high (dollar) number, but it’s as bare-bones as possible,” Loranger said. Paying for such gear now, he said, is important; if GRF waits, persisting supply-chain issues could mean ordering them after the new NetSuite system is up and running – hopefully sometime in the first half of 2024 – could take months.

“This stuff is just vital to our operation,” Loranger said.

The Planning Committee got its first look at the recommended projects list at its Nov. 9 meeting; other than the “network gear replacement” item, it didn’t talk much about items on the proposed capital budget list. Committee Chair Leanne Hamaji said the Planning Committee will take up the capital projects list at its Jan. 11 meeting and then the proposed budget goes to the Finance Committee. The full GRF Board is expected to make the final list of priority projects at its late January meeting.

 

 

Most of the discussion on Dec. 14 centered on the 2024 machinery and equipment budget, the proposed version of which totals about $660,000.

For the first time, the 2024 capital budget and planning process is using a five-year projection of estimated expenditures – now standing at about $6.5 million – and the funding available, which likely will be less than that. The process, which has been praised by GRF leaders, provides both a more thorough window into GRF’s Planning future, but also into funding necessary to complete various long-term projects. The projection also includes items from 2022 and from this year, and their future timelines.

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