Danville shifts agreement with Harrison Park manager

DANVILLE - The city is changing its agreement with the Harrison Park Golf Course management, shifting a portion of the manager's compensation from the parks and public property budget to the golf course budget.

Doug Ahrens, public works director, said the golf course had such a good year that the city has decided to put all of manager Brock Burton's compensation package under the golf course operation. Under the previous agreement, 15 percent of his compensation came from parks and public property in the public works department. Ahrens said the rates Burton receives will not change.

The city council's public works committee will consider the new agreement, along with a new fee schedule for Harrison Park, at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the municipal building, 17 W. Main St., Danville. In regard to fees, Ahrens said there are some slight increases for next year, including bumps in season memberships and daily greens fees.

The 15 percent Burton previously received from parks and public property stemmed from duties he was still responsible for in his previous position with the city as recreation and public facilities manager. Ahrens said those duties will now be shifted to someone else in parks.

Burton temporarily stepped into the role of managing the city-owned Harrison Park golf course in the spring of 2011 after a newly hired independent contractor opted out of his contract with the city to operate Harrison Park.

Later that year, the city made the arrangement permanent, entering into a three-year agreement with Burton in which he would manage the golf course for an annual salary of $62,000, but 15 percent of that salary, or $9,300, was for his other duties in parks and public properties, including overseeing Winter Park and Danville Stadium. That's the portion under this new three-year agreement that will be shifted into the Harrison Park operating budget.

In addition to his salary and benefits, Burton receives 4 percent of revenues from golf cart and hand cart rentals, the driving range, greens fees and season passes. But he's required to operate at his expense, which includes the cost of personnel and supplies, a pro shop and a concession. Burton retains 100 percent of revenues from those two operations.

Ahrens said under this new agreement, which will end in December 2015, 100 percent of Burton's compensation and commissions will be attributed to the golf course budget.

Ahrens said the arrangement with Burton has gone well this year.

"A lot of that can be attributed to the weather," said Ahrens, referring to the previous winter that was mild and allowed people to continue golfing. And although the summer months got very hot, he said it was a good season, and this arrangement will allow Burton to focus fully on the golf course.

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