September 25, 2018
By: Dwayne Page
The manager of the Smithville Golf Course, Swimming Pool, and Tennis Court is getting another pay raise, just two weeks after his pay was doubled.
During Monday night’s special called meeting, the aldermen voted 4-1 to raise Ken Lacy’s salary from $24,000 to $40,000 per year. They had just raised it two weeks ago from $12,000 to $24,000 retroactive to the date when his co-manager, Pete Ferguson resigned in July.
In March, the aldermen hired both Lacy and Ferguson to manage the operation of the golf course, swimming pool, and tennis courts. The city budgeted their pay at $1,000 per month each and both were provided the city’s healthcare insurance package, a $7,000 benefit to each of them.
Lacy has been the sole manager of the facilities since Ferguson left.
Alderman Gayla Hendrix made the motion to increase Lacy’s pay again.
“We have had numerous workshops about this facility and due to the fact that Mr. Lacy was first hired with a co-manager who has now left us, he is doing twice the work. We had also decided not to re-contract with Riverwatch for the golf course maintenance so his (Lacy’s) responsibilities have greatly increased. I would make the motion that we increase Mr. Lacy’s pay to $40,000 a year plus insurance to be the manager of the golf course, pool, and tennis courts,” she said.
“We are under a trial year with the city running the golf course to see if it is going to be the best route for us to go or change directions but we haven’t been doing it a year yet so it’s too early to make that assessment at this time. Back in the spring when we did take applications for the position of golf course manager, we had a few but Mr. Lacy’s resume stood out far beyond any we saw. He is definitely qualified and he is a Golf pro,” said Alderman Hendrix.
Alderman Brandon Cox opposed the salary increase.
“My concern is we’re looking to increase expenses at a time when the revenues are about to drastically decrease. We don’t have any projection as to what this is going to look like next year. I looked at the numbers extensively for July and August. If you divorce the pool from the golf course and do revenues versus expenses, there is actually a net revenue for July and August but if you go back three months prior and the year prior, we’re still in the hole $40,000, even if you take the Riverwatch contract out. July and August are a peak time. That’s when you are going to get the most revenue out of it. I personally don’t see how it ever gets to viability. The best we can hope for over a twelve month span is break even. That’s my concern at this point. We’re looking to increase a salary at a time when revenues are actually about to drop,” said Alderman Cox.
“You are projecting that. You don’t have knowledge of that,” replied Alderman Hendrix. “The work load is not dropping. While the pool revenue may be dropping, pool expenses are also declining. There will be a ton of play at the golf course in the fall. I think it will be a lot more than in the summer. We are not going to know any numbers for at least a year. We all made a decision after numerous meetings to do this the first year and see how we do and then assess. We’re not ready to assess but we still need a manager,” she said.
“Gayla and Brandon have very valid points. Yes, we have seen the numbers. They don’t look good. We’re all business savvy. We have knowledge of that. What I would like to do is definitely look at this again. Get the summer revenues. Look at it again this time next year. Twelve months down the road. If we see that we are losing too much money, then I think we need to keep options on the table,” said Mayor Josh Miller.
“We’re talking about $40,000. It’s not giving him $40,000 more. We’re just increasing it to $40,000. We have to look at this as a business. The city has started a new business with the golf course and pool. Yes, we’ve poured some hard earned money into it, city money. We don’t know what it is going to be until we get this behind us and have a year under our belt and see where we stand this time next year or close to this time. When we shut the pool down (for the summer next year), that’s when we’ll know where we stand. I hate to throw the money we have already spent over there away. We have it in good shape. Let’s see what we can do with it from this point on,” added Alderman Danny Washer.
“This is a service we provide to our community,” said Alderman Hendrix. For the last several years even our school teams couldn’t play because it (golf course) was in such bad shape. It was an embarrassment. Now we have three different schools playing their season back there. Its good to see the school groups playing back there again. The course is just now getting in playable condition,” she said.
“The leasing prospect is almost a non-starter because since Jim Alexander had it several years ago it just hasn’t (worked for the city). The city set how much rent we wanted and since then it has been nothing but headaches for the lessee and for the city because some of them (lessees) didn’t have the equipment and some didn’t have the expertise. Others did but it was just a struggle apparently to manage that place. I am not saying it can’t work because it has but that was years ago and we didn’t have as much competition from other golf courses back then,” said Alderman Shawn Jacobs.
Two Injured and Gravestones Damaged at DeKalb Cemetery in Saturday Night Crash
September 25, 2018
By: Dwayne Page
Two teens suffered minor injuries in a two vehicle crash late Saturday night on Highway 56 south that also resulted in damage to headstones at DeKalb Cemetery.
According to Trooper Chris Meness of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the accident occurred at around 11:46 p.m. as a 17 year old Smithville boy was driving south in a 2001 Chevy pickup truck. The axle failed and came apart from the truck causing the vehicle to cross into the northbound lane and sideswipe a 2005 Scion Coupe, driven by 22 year old Dennis McKinney of McMinnville. After impact, the truck continued into the ditch line and traveled into DeKalb Cemetery and came to final rest on top of grave stones. McKinney’s car spun around after impact and traveled through the ditchline and came to rest at the edge of Whorton Springs Cemetery. No grave stones were damaged there.
The teen driver of the truck and his 17 year old passenger of Smithville suffered minor injuries and were transported by EMS to St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital where they were treated and released. McKinney was not injured.
The truck driver is facing Juvenile charges for Conditional Driver’s License, (driving after curfew with an intermediate restricted license) and No Proof of insurance.
All were wearing their seatbelts.
Heavy Rains Monday Cause Flooding in DeKalb County
September 25, 2018
By: Dwayne Page
Heavy down pours dumped several inches of rain in a short time Monday afternoon causing flooding in portions of DeKalb County particularly in the Alexandria, Liberty, and Dowelltown area.
The rising waters from creeks and street run off blocked roads and forced some residents from their homes.
DeKalb County had been under a flash flood watch for much of the afternoon as the storm system approached and then at 4:53 p.m. a tornado warning was issued by the National Weather Service for DeKalb County followed later by a flash flood warning.
Buses taking children home from after school programs were sent back to school and those which had not already left were held at school until the threat passed.
Although no structure damage has been reported in DeKalb County, neighboring Cannon County had a possible tornado touchdown in the Bradyville community causing some storm damage.
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