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Council Approves Fee Hike At Knoll Golf Club West

Membership fee increase will be $50 for residents, $100 for out-of-town golfers.

Council members unanimously agreed to up annual membership fees at Tuesday night, saying that if they didn't, funding the club might eventually become a burden to taxpayers.

For the past few years, the Knoll Country Club has spent more than 70 percent of its surplus budget, said Councilman John Cesaro. 

If it faces , as it has for at least the past two years, it might have to operate with money from the township's emergency fund. "It's possible that could happen,'' said Cesaro.

An increase in fees would help prevent that, officials agreed. The Knoll Golf Facility functions as a township utility and is funded with membership fees. 

The increase, proposed by Knoll golf superintendent Pat DeFalco, would be $50 for township residents, $100 for out-of-town members and $150 for out-of-state residents. 

Fees at Knoll Golf Club East, where 85 percent of the members are residents, will remain the same. At the West club, there is a much greater percentage of corporate members and out-of-towners, according to DeFalco.

The semi-private Knoll West has about 1,000 members, as well as a long waiting list. The current general dues are $600 for residents; $1,200 for out-of-town New Jersey residents and $1,800 for out-of-state members. There are also rates for restricted access and corporate memberships. 

Kevin Brancato December 18, 2010 at 01:48 PM
Please clarify that the fees being raised are the annual membership fees. Not the daily green fees. Thank you.
Hank Heller December 18, 2010 at 04:10 PM
I would like to know if the increase in annual fees relates to The Knoll West's need for additional funds to operate or if the increase is needed to allow The Knoll West to help fund other non-golf operations. I think I remember that some years ago, The Knoll West was contributing a large sum to the general Parsippany coffers. Is this still the case? Am I incorrect in my recollection? Can anyone help me to understand? Thanks.
Kevin Brancato December 19, 2010 at 01:37 PM
My understanding is that as a utility purchased under Greenacres is that the money generated by the utility is kept by and reinvested in the utility. With the decline in play over the last few years the surplus fund for emergencies etc. will soon be depleted. That was the main reason for the increase. I'm sure that anybody on the council or in the Mayor's office could clarify that.
Hank Heller December 19, 2010 at 03:50 PM
Thanks for the suggestion, Kevin. I will contact Pat DeFalco first. He is usually very forthcoming and I am sure he can give me the answer.
Hank Heller December 21, 2010 at 05:22 PM
As promised, I called and spoke to Pat DeFalco and he explained the reasoning behind the increased membership fees. I was satisfied by an open and clear discussion. I really wish we could get more of our local management, whether they be appointed or elected, to be so forthcoming. I am also respectful of the effort the staff at The Knoll puts into accomodating the membership and making The Knoll a nice place to play.
Phil February 09, 2011 at 09:48 PM
With so many clubs that make money, The Knoll should never be looking to the city's coffers. If it cant generate a profit, it can easily be sold for a large sum and could just as easily service the community.
Hank Heller February 09, 2011 at 11:48 PM
Actually, Phil, many clubs in New Jersey and New York are struggling and some have closed down. Pat DeFalco does a great job keeping the place viable. It would be a real shame to sell the property to someone who might build houses, townhouses and/or affordable housing on such pristine property. Once gone, we can never get it back. Hank Heller

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