MILLEDGEVILLE — Baldwin County currently operates a 54-month lease agreement with E-Z-GO for 50 carts at Little Fishing Creek Golf Course.
The cart lease agreement usually turns over every five or six years because of maintenance issues, according to Finance Director Dawn Hudson at Tuesday’s Baldwin County Commissioners meeting.
“The maintenance agreement has already run out on the current carts. Anything that happens to them while we have them now, we are going to have to maintain,” Hudson said.
The new lease term for LFC's carts is set to renew the end of next month.
The proposal is $35 per month extra but still within the public course budget.
Local resident and golfer Harry Keim expressed displeasure with the current carts condition from day one.
“I can tell you the carts that you have now are crap,” Keim said. “When they first brought the current ones, I got in one and I swear I thought the transmission was going to fall apart. I don't know any of them that run very well.”
He suggested renegotiating the agreement with E-Z-GO to provide a better product or going with another dealer.
“Either way, you've got to do something better than you have now,” Keim said. “I think the golfers deserve a decent cart.”
Hudson said golf course manager Kyle Wall indicated the last set of carts were not “up to par.” The lease renewal on the table includes a different model.
“I believe (Wall) is going back to a heavier duty golf cart,” Hudson said. “Hopefully, these are better golf carts which is part of the additional cost.”
Five years is a long time with strenuous use.
“We need to make sure we are getting quality stuff, and they need to be inspected when they come and make sure we are getting what we are paying for or better,” Sammy Hall, District 3, said.
Hudson agreed to get Wall to bring additional options to the table. The board will hold off on lease renewal per further review of the current provider's quality.
• Public Defender Program budget request held off
Attorney G.B. “Butch” Moore approached the board about a budget increase for the Public Defender Program for the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit. Moore wanted a $9,000 total increase for state court coverage. Some of the money would go to small salary increases.
Hall said the county doesn't have the money now and would consider the budget with other requests later.
Henry Craig, District 4, agreed approving a request during the middle of a calendar year budget cycle was a bad move.
“We are outside the budget cycle and don't have the information to make a commitment for next year though I'm optimistic nothing will change,” Craig said. “I don't see how we can vote on next year's money now.”
The board voted 3-2 against the request with Tommy French, District 2, and Emily Davis, District 1, in support of the failed motion.
• County budget process changes
The county will take additional time developing the 2014 calendar fiscal year budget.
“We moved our calendar backward to give us enough time between processes to make it work,” Hudson said.
Constitutional officers and department heads will receive budget packages around the second week of July. Hudson said they would provide operational budgets for a two-year cycle and capital budgets for a five-year period back by the end of August.
This gives the commissioners more time to discuss budget requests. The first 2014 draft will be out for review Oct. 18.
• Pool drainage
French and Craig are assigned to a pool committee meeting today at 1 p.m. to discuss all priorities for the facility under Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax money.
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