Blue Heron Golf Course projects approved
CENTREVILLE — The Queen Anne’s County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a budget amendment transferring $85,000 from the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Blue Heron Golf Course irrigation account to the golf course’s driving range account. The commission also approved the contract of Middleton’s Construction Co. LLC for the construction of the entrance road, parking area and tee box for the driving range by a unanimous vote.
Three companies submitted bids for the project that will build a 740-foot access road, as well as associated parking, leading into the property. Bridge Site & Utilities Inc. based out of Bozman submitted a bid of $140,576, David A. Bramble Inc. of Chestertown submitted a $147,500 bid, and Middleton’s Construction Co. LLC was the low bidder at $110,781.
Despite Middleton’s Construction submitting the lowest bid, it also received local bidder treatment under the county’s procurement policy that was created last year.
Chip Price, executive director of the parks department, said the $85,000 was originally in the budget to fix the golf course’s irrigation system but after fixing the problem without using the funds, a request to use the money elsewhere was made.
Eric Beaufait, Blue Heron general manager and director of golf, said the sprinkler system on the course’s original nine holes was installed in 1983, and to avoid replacing the entire system, he said the tees and swing-joints where pressure from the new pump house on the course’s new nine holes were replaced because it was “blowing them out.”
“It’s not to say that eventually that system may not need repair, but ... the longterm goal of the golf course overall is to start funding itself with the driving range installed and have enough money where we can start rehabbing some of the front nine greens and doing major repairs there where we would have to dig up the irrigation anyhow and restore it,” Beaufait said.
He said the group didn’t want to put in a new irrigation system that could last 30 years but end up digging it up after 10 years because of major course work.
In the Fiscal Year 2017 operational and capital budgets that were approved later in the meeting, a clause was added that stipulated any remaining funds from capital projects be put back into the county’s general capital fund to then be reallocated.
Commissioner Jim Moran questioned Beaufait about the longevity of the sprinkler fix. “...The point I’m trying to make is we have a lot of projects throughout the county that end up (with leftover money), and we have a lot of funds that are sitting there that maybe we should recapture because it’s our duty to spend those funds wisely,” Moran said.