Wednesday November 13, 2019
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An evaluation team will soon review 13 bids submitted during a Request For Proposals (RFP) process for the management, operation and maintenance of Louisville’s public golf courses, according to an update provided today to Louisville Metro Council President David James by Chief Financial Officer Daniel Frockt and Parks and Recreation Director Dana Kasler.

Mayor Greg Fischer announced earlier this year the city may be forced to make adjustments to the management, operation and maintenance of the 10 city golf courses as part of a series of cuts necessitated by the state of Kentucky’s pension crisis and a lack of new revenue sources.

On Sept. 13, 2019, the city issued a Request for Proposals (RFP), for management, operation, and maintenance of the courses.

The RFP process closed Oct. 22. The next step is for an evaluation team to review the proposals with a tentative completion date of Nov. 18, 2019. Following subsequent negotiations, the goal is to award a new contract(s) for operations by Dec. 31, 2019.

“We are taking great care to ensure a smooth process during this transition period,” Kasler said. “I am confident the review team will diligently explore the options found within these 13 proposals to help retain municipal golf in the city.”

Louisville Parks and Recreation golf courses are Metro-owned and currently managed independently by PGA professionals whose contracts are up at the end of 2019 – except for Quail Chase, where the contract expires December 31, 2024.

“This RFP process is designed to assist us in making the smartest and most fiscally responsible decisions for the taxpayers of this community,” Frockt said. “We also believe it will lead to more streamlined and improved golf course operations, which in this strained budget climate is critical.”

In the update to the Council president, Frockt and Kasler clarified that records related to the process will be kept confidential until a contract is awarded, under a process established per Kentucky state law to eliminate the potential of undue influence and impropriety on the evaluation team.

Also, no council members will serve on the evaluation upon the recommendation from the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office.

Frockt and Kasler also noted that Metro Government will continue to follow the union contract regarding Louisville Parks and Recreation golf course staff during this transition period. “Therefore,” they wrote, “no Metro Council member or body may bind Metro government into any manner of collective bargaining agreement, side letter revision, or memorandum of understanding (MOU).”

The letter also provided an update on course operations through the end of the year, when most lease agreements expire.

Because the PGA professionals at Shawnee, Crescent Hill and Charlie Vettiner have submitted their resignations, the letter said, Louisville Parks and Recreation, per ordinance, will staff those courses.

Beginning on January 1, 2020, course operations will fall under the new contracts awarded through the RFP process. Those courses not awarded a contract will be operated by Louisville Parks and Recreation.

The city of Louisville is privileged to host the USA Cyclocross National Championships at Joe Creason Park December 11-15. This international event, coming on the heels of last year’s Derby City Cup, will feature nearly 1,700 top professional and amateur riders competing over the course of the week from 45 states.

The competition will also draw thousands of spectators from the city of Louisville and beyond, and the event area will feature an expo area, food trucks, hospitality tents and other temporary amenities.

Louisville Parks and Recreation and the host organization, the Louisville Sports Commission, are aware of the stress such an event can put on the natural balance of a scenic park such as Creason.

We are taking the following steps to ensure a return to its idyllic state following the competition:

  • Turf areas throughout Creason: As soon as weather permits, if an area is heavily compacted, we’ll aerate, plant seed, winterize the soil, and place straw through the impacted areas. It’s the same approach we took following last year’s Derby City Cup, and the park sustained no lasting negative impacts. We expect full recovery of the areas by late spring.
  • The Creason managed meadows areas: they’ve been cut for the season as the growing period has ceased for the year. When the course was laid out, we avoided particularly sensitive areas. We will replace impacted areas with native grasses and perennial seeds and use straw on areas that have exposed soil. We will continually monitor the area and treat for invasives (i.e. Johnson Grass) and remove anything that’s not desirable.
  • Also in the managed meadows areas: the parks volunteer coordinator and parks supervision overseeing the restoration of the park will be leading a flower bulb planting project in the weeks following the race to add some spring color to the park.
  • The woodland areas surrounding the course – we’ve removed invasive species such as Porcelain Berry and Tree Of Heaven, and along the slopes are employing erosion control methods, straw and silt fencing to keep litter and any pollutants away from the waterways

Questions? E-mail parks@louisvilleky.gov.

Third District Congressman John Yarmuth, Metro Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton and others were on hand Saturday as Louisville Parks and Recreation unveiled a new bicycle pump track in Shawnee Park as part of the West Louisville Appreciation Day festival.

“This pump track is another exciting way for young people in West Louisville and throughout our city to experience the outdoors and have fun in one of the many award-winning parks right here in our community. It was an honor to join Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton and so many West Louisville residents as we cut the ribbon on this great new addition to Shawnee Park,” Congressman Yarmuth said.

The new pump track was funded with assistance from the Aetna Foundation and built by 12 youths working over the summer who participated in Mayor Greg Fischer’s Summerworks Program and the Louisville ECHO (Louisville is Engaging Children Outdoors) program.

The project has benefitted by support from the National Park Service who provided planning assistance and U.S. Forest Service who has providing funding support for Louisville ECHO.

It’s a feature of the West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative (WLORI), which began nearly a decade ago, and, under which, plans for a new Outdoor Learning Center in Shawnee Park were released last week. Those plans can be viewed on Louisville Parks and Recreation’s website, bestparksever.com.

A pump track is a type of off-road terrain for cycle sport consisting of a circuit of banked turns and features designed to be ridden completely by riders “pumping” – creating momentum by up and down body movements.

The plans were also displayed at an information booth set up by staff from Jefferson Memorial Forest and Louisville Parks and Recreation’s Natural Areas Division on Saturday.

Other components of WLORI include a new boat ramp in Shawnee Park (construction will take place in 2019) and the proposed restoration of the pond in nearby Chickasaw Park for better fishing access.

“Where a person lives has a profound impact on how they live – particularly when it comes to their health,” said Jonathan Copley CEO of Aetna Better Health of Kentucky. “The West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative is an outstanding example of how important progress can be made when communities work together to look at the biggest issues facing their neighborhoods and develop healthy, home-grown solutions. We are pleased to be a contributor to today’s unveiling.”

Mayor Greg Fischer, Councilman James Peden and officials with Louisville Parks and Recreation and the First Tee of Louisville convened today at Quail Chase Golf Club to celebrate recent improvements to the course and grounds, which Metro Government assumed responsibility of in February.

“We’re pleased to add Quail Chase to the city’s portfolio of municipally-owned courses,” Mayor Fischer said. “It’s long been one of the must-visit sites for golfers within the Louisville area, and its proximity to beautiful McNeely Lake Park makes it a destination.”

“It’s my expectation we will maintain the quality golf that patrons of Quail Chase have come to expect and improve on the clubhouse amenities,” said Councilman Peden, who represents District 23 on the Metro Council. “I want this course to be a focal point and gathering place for our community similar to Seneca and Charlie Vernier golf courses.”

Quail Chase Golf Club is a 27-hole championship-level course located on the Jefferson/Bullitt county line 20 minutes south of downtown Louisville.

The addition brings the number of municipally-owned golf courses to 10. Metro acquired the facility and improvements Feb. 1 from Golf Development Company Inc. for $850,000.

Through the agreement, Golf Development Inc. will make an annual $25,000 donation to the First Tee of Louisville for youth golf programming at Quail Chase each year over the next 10 years. The First Tee also operates at Shawnee and Seneca golf courses.

Quail Chase is overseen by PGA Professional Craig Heibert. Heibert is the Kentucky Section PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2017.

He is currently the Vice President of the PGA of Kentucky and serves on the organization’s board of directors. He is the current pro at Shawnee Golf Course and has overseen the First Tee’s growth at that course and others, building the program to six program locations, 34 elementary schools and nurturing numerous community and business partnerships.

As improvements continue at the course, operations will continue as normal. Greens fees, passes and membership rates will not change this season.

To view the course layout, greens fees and other information, visit quailchase.com.

Heaven Hill Brands announced today a partnership with Louisville Parks and Recreation to create a new outdoor recreation area at the California Community Center in West Louisville. Mayor Greg Fischer, Metro Council President David James, and Metro Parks Assistant Director Ben Johnson joined Heaven Hill Brands Chief Operating Officer Allan Latts to unveil plans including updated landscaping, permanent cornhole boards and chess sets.

Heaven Hill Brands first established itself as a community partner in the California neighborhood in 1999 with the purchase of the historic Bernheim Distillery, a site which has produced Bourbon since 1871. Rooted in Heaven Hill’s Corporate Charitable Giving Mission is the goal “to seek to improve the local communities in which our employees work and live by offering charitable support for education, health and well-being, and cultural enrichment.”

“As stewards of this long-standing facility, and as a family-owned and operated company, Heaven Hill recognizes the responsibility to the community that has been built around Bernheim, the community we have become a part of,” said Latts. “We are thrilled to continue this commitment to the California Neighborhood through a new outdoor recreation space for adults and children alike to enjoy.”

In West Louisville alone Heaven Hill has committed a substantial financial impact in the last two years to Dare to Care Food Bank, Simmons College, Reverend Elliott’s programs, Community Connections, Portland Elementary, Brightside, and more. Within the greater Louisville area, Heaven Hill has a longstanding history of partnerships with the Kentucky Science Center, The Louisville Zoo, The Speed Museum, Fund for the Arts, and many more throughout the city.

“This new park amenity fits right in with our city’s values of compassion, lifelong learning and health,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “I’m grateful to Heaven Hill for being not only good corporate partners, but good neighbors as well.”

To celebrate the announcement the Wheatley chess team joined local dignitaries and community members in a game of chess. Plans to begin construction on the new site at California Community Center are slated for summer 2018.

Louisville Parks and Recreation is offering an affordable family golfing package at its ten golf courses during the Memorial Day Weekend.

For only $25, a family of up to four members can play nine holes at any Parks course. The $25 includes greens and cart fees, and families can take advantage of the deal after 4:30 p.m. on three days: Saturday, May 27, Sunday, May 28 and Monday, May 29.

Families are encouraged to call in advance to book a tee time at the golf course of their choice.

“Our courses are in great shape this spring, and we’re hoping for a lot of play from families this summer,” said Louisvile Parks and Recreation Director Seve Ghose. “Come out and enjoy a round of golf with the family on a great course at an affordable price!”

Louisville Parks and Recreation golf courses are open from daylight to dark seven days a week.

The four outdoor pools operated by Louisville Parks and Recreation will open for the season on Saturday, May 26. The Algonquin, Norton, Fairdale and Sun Valley Park pools are fully staffed with lifeguards, though the department is looking to hire additional staff for the pools this summer.

The department will be hosting a lifeguard training course for those who are interested from 4-9 p.m. Monday, May 21 to Friday, May 25. The course will take place at the Mary T. Meagher Aquatic Center in Crescent Hill Park. Those who take the course and become certified will have all course fees waived if they commit to working at a Louisville Parks and Recreation pool for one year. Lifeguards will be paid $10.50 per hour.

Admission is $2 for children 17 and younger and $3 for adults 18 and over. Photo identification is required for anyone age 9 or older; children 8 and under must be accompanied by a guardian 12 or older with photo identification. Metro Parks can make identification cards for children who need them for $4 per card; call (502) 897-9949 for details.

(Note: For information on the Mary T. Meagher Aquatic Center, click here.)

Parks pools will be open:

Summer 2018: May 26, 27 & 28- Memorial Day Weekend &

June 2 – August 4 pools will open with the following schedules:

Algonquin Park
1614 Cypress Street, 40210
502/772-7907
Open Daily: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. • Closed Tuesdays

Fairdale (Nelson Hornbeck Park)
709 Fairdale Road, 40118
502/361-8270
Open Daily: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. • Closed Mondays (but open Memorial Day)

Norton (Camp Taylor Memorial Park)
4201 Lee Avenue, 40213
502/451-0678
Open Daily: 11 a m.- 4 p m  • Closed Thursdays

Sun Valley Park
6506 Bethany Lane, 40272
502/935-0302
Open Daily: 1p m  – 6 p.m. • Closed Wednesdays

Prerequisites for Lifeguard Training

The following are prerequisite skills for lifeguard training; you will be asked to perform these skills on the first day of class.

  • Swim 300 yards continuously– 100 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, and 100 choice of freestyle or breaststroke.
  • Tread water for two minutes no hands.
  • Swim 20 yards and surface dive 10 feet retrieving a 10-pound brick. Once swimmer has retrieved brick then the swimmer must swim 20 yards on their back while holding both hands on the brick to the original starting point.
  • The swimmer must exit the water without using a ladder or steps. This prerequisite must be completed in 1 min and 40 seconds.

To register for the course, call Keith Smith at (502) 895-6499.

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