MISSION — Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas this week pushed to not raise rates at Shary Municipal Golf Course by approximately nine percent.
“Mission has always been known as a ‘Winter Texan-friendly’ town,” the mayor said. “Let’s not raise our rates so high we lose that designation.”
Course Director Paul Schaeffer presented the recommended rate changes approved by the Shary Golf Course board when Salinas asked if the golf course was making money at Monday’s meeting.
Schaeffer assured the mayor that with the $3 million in improvements made to the golf course during 2009-2010 fiscal year, the number of people now playing had increased the course’s revenues.
When the mayor determined the golf course was paying its own way, he suggested the city try to keep its rates at the lower end of the scale so that Winter Texans would still find the course one of the more economical places to play.
Schaeffer said that in spite of the recommended increases, Shary Golf Course was still one of the most economical courses to play.
The board recommended raising the current yearly membership to $850, an increase of $100. Schaeffer pointed out that the increase was substantially less that Palmview Golf Course in McAllen and Los Lagos Golf Course in Edinburg that charge $1,200 per year or Tierra del Sol in Pharr that charges $1,050. Mission also has a senior rate of $650, which the board proposed be raised to $750. He said Mission was the only golf course to have a senior membership rate.
The board also recommended an increase of $50 in the three-month rate from $475 to $525. The proposed rate for an extra month was $175.
Green fees are currently $15 for nine holes and $20 for 18 holes. The Shary Golf Board proposed an increase of $16 for nine holes and $22 for 18 holes.
The golf board did not propose any changes in junior fees.
For shared carts, the golf board recommended a $1 raise for nine holes to $7, which was in line with the other courses. For 18 holes the proposed rate was $13, which was the highest rate of any of the four courses.
Schaeffer also told the council that Mission residents received $2.50 of the 18-hole green fee and $2.50 off the 18-hole cart fee or $1 off the nine-hole green and cart fee.
After looking at the rates Salinas suggested the green fees be kept at their current rates of $15 for nine holes and $20 for 18 holes as a way of being Winter Texan-friendly.
In an interview, Schaeffer said that use of the golf course was up about 10 percent compared to previous years and the golf course was no longer losing money. One of the biggest changes is the course’s ability to host tournaments. With improvements and a new clubhouse able to accommodate up to 140 people, the Shary Municipal Golf Course has hosted seven new tournaments this year.
“Petroleum costs are what drive rate increases,” Schaeffer explained. “All of our fertilizers are petroleum based and when petroleum costs rise, so does the cost of maintaining the golf course. Added to that is the cost of fueling the golf carts and maintenance equipment.”
Schaeffer said he’d work with the city to keep the golf course affordable for all visitors.
“The city is not looking to make a lot of money from the course,” he said. “The rates we enact are designed to cover costs and have a small profit line to cover the cost of new equipment when it is needed.”
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.