A golf course improvement plan for Buffalo Dunes Golf Course was approved at Tuesday’s Garden City Commission meeting.


Jason Hase, head golf professional at Buffalo Dunes, said while there is no funding for the project as of yet, things can still be done.


“The staff feels there are several things that we can accomplish without any funding provided by the governing body and we would like the approval of the plan so we can start moving forward with some of those items,” he said.


There are six phases in the improvement plan.


Clay Payne, golf course superintendent, said the goal of the plan is to “increase play-ability for golfers of all skill sets while also maintaining the golf course in a more sustainable and economical manner.”


Part of the plan includes new tee boxes and a conversion from irrigated grass to native grass, Payne said.


“We believe that all residents of western Kansas should be aware of our water resources and how valuable it is. This would save us, roughly estimating, 15 million to 20 million gallons even on the driest years,” he said. “I think it's a substantial number, but that's just one part of the puzzle with this plan, as well.”


This will also significantly reduce the labor requirements to maintain the course, Payne said.


“This will allow us to use less inputs such as fertilizers and just wear and tear on our machinery,” he said.


In 2020 for part of Phase 1, Payne said using the monies in Fund 71, they plan to build three green complexes, three tee complexes, bits and pieces of fairways, begin tree and car path and do some irrigation work.


Additionally they would do some grassing, Payne said. They have planted a bluegrass nursery for $1,400 and will be planting another grass nursery shortly for roughly $1,500.


“If we were to take that and just purchase it, outsource it vs. growing it ourselves, it would cost us roughly $17,000, we're going to do it for about $3,000,” he said. “I feel comfortable with this too because I know what my inputs are, I know the health of the turf when it arrives ... we would be able to do most of the re-grassing this fall as well in-house.”


The commission also approved a Municipal Electric Utility Maintenance Agreement with the cities of Dighton, Colby and Russell.


In this agreement if one of the four cities requests aid, another city shall respond within a timely manner with assistance, said Mike Muirhead, Garden City Public Utilities director.


“Basically what this is, is if they get in a situation where they would need some help with their electric system that they could call one of these three cities and we would be able to respond to be able to come and help them on whatever they need assistance for,” he said.


Muirhead said it is also up to the discretion of the aiding city whether they can assist or not and when.


“At any time, when a request is made, we would make the call as to whether or not we could go help,” he said. “We may have situations of our own that wouldn't allow us to go at that time and they would call another community to come and assist.”


In other business:


• The commission approved the purchase of the Garden City Telegram building located at 310 N. 7th St. for $480,000. The Garden City Municipal Court and Evidence will be moved there.


• The commission approved the Passenger Facility Charge application for the Garden City Regional Airport.


• The commission approved nine applications for emergency loans from the Community Development Block Grant economic development revolving loan fund. The businesses are E&L Lawn Service, El Zarape, Illusions Hari Salon, Pinky’s Grilled Cheestro, Stroh Cleaners, Traditions Soda & Sandwich, Garden True Value, Unique Automotive and the YMCA of Southwest Kansas.