2010-12-30 / Front Page

Ayr Adopts Final 2011 Budget

Hears request for financial support from golf course
By Jean Snyder STAFF WRITER

Ayr Township supervisors adopted a final 2011 budget, heard a request for financial support from the Great Cove Golf and Recreation Club and passed three ordinances at their regular meeting on Monday evening.

The supervisors adopted a final budget as proposed at their November meeting that outlines expenditures of $309,415 with assets of $1,654,715. The assets include $1,493,200 in the general fund and $161,515 in the highway fund. The township expects to receive $145,000 in earned income tax and $20,000 in realty transfer taxes. Ayr Township levies no real estate, occupation or per-capita taxes.

The supervisors met with Paul Johnston and Bob Peck, board members of Great Cove Golf and Recreation Club. Johnston presented a budget analysis of the golf course dating back to 2005 to the supervisors. He pointed out that the golf course has shown a net loss for each of those years basically due to a decline in membership fees.

Johnston and Peck told the supervisors that it is likely that they will not be able to open the club’s pool in 2011 due to the fact that they continue to lose money on the pool and the pool needs renovations. Johnston said the directors hate to close the pool since it is the only county facility that offers swimming lessons. They asked the supervisors to consider offering financial support to the club in order for the pool to remain open. He said that 250 youths took swimming lessons there in the past year.

Johnston said and the financial analysis reflects the fact that the club took in about $12,000 last year for pool lessons. He said that basically just pays for the lifeguards’ time, but does not pay for any maintenance on the pool. He said that with the age of the pool, it is going to need to be drained, sealed and painted in order to maintain it in future years.

Supervisor Chairman “Sonny” Harr said he agrees that the swimming lessons are important to the community, but he pointed out that although the golf course is located in Ayr Township, not all of the youths who benefit from the lessons are from Ayr. He said he would find it easier to support the club if donations were solicited and received from other municipalities that use the course and the swimming pool. Harr also questioned if the county had been approached about supporting the club and was assured that the county had been contacted and asked about lowering the real estate tax bill of about $35,000 annually. Johnston said that no final decision had been made on that request and the golf course board has not determined whether or not to appeal the tax assessment.

Johnston said the directors have looked at various ways of trying to save money on the pool by considering changing the pool hours from 11-8 to 12-7, and by cutting back on the number of swimming lesson sessions. Johnston said the pool is open 84 days per year.

The supervisors said they would consider the club’s request for financial support and no decision was made on Monday evening. The supervisors also added that they do hope people will use and support the county’s only club so that all of its facilities may remain open.

In other business, the township adopted a floodplain ordinance (#12-27- 10A), a stormwater management ordinance (#12-27-10B) and an amendment to their subdivision and land-use planning ordinance which makes reference to the new floodplain ordinance (#12-27-10C). Township solicitor Stanley J. Kerlin advised the supervisors that the ordinances had been properly advertised, and there was no public comment given at the meeting.

During routine business, township secretary Denise Grissinger reported that she has been notified that the county’s adopted 2011 Liquid Fuels Allocations includes $3,900 for Ayr Township. That allocation brings the funding back up to the 2008 level.

The township also tabled discussion on a notification from JWP Environmental (the township’s sewage enforcement officer) that in 2011, the cost for the service will increase from $465 per inspection to $610.

Grissinger also reported that Commonwealth Code Inspection has denied the building permit application from the McConnellsburg Sewerage Authority for their upgrade project because the final plan has not been approved by the municipality and a land-use permit has not been issued. Final approval is pending until all state DEP permits are in place.

The township’s reorganizational meeting will be held Monday, January 3, 2011, at 7:00 p.m.

Ayr Township supervisors hold their regular meetings the last Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the township building.

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