Blue Heron Golf Course projects ap­proved

Record Observer - - News - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

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.

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