The 10-member Columbia Council slightly increased greens fees at two Columbia golf courses last night, a move some council members hope will improve the facilities' profitability.
At Hobbits Glen in Harper's Choice village, the fees for a Columbia Association member will increase from $25 to $28 on weekdays and $30 to $34 on weekends.
For Columbia residents playing Hobbits Glen, fees will increase from $50 to $55 on weekends and $35 to $38 on weekdays.
At Fairway Hills in Dorsey's Search, the fees for a CA member will increase from $16 to $18 on weekdays and $20 to $22 on weekends.
The new fees will become effective March 14.
"The [current] green fees do nothing to eliminate the deficit at Hobbits Glen," said Jean Friedberg, a council member from Hickory Ridge. "We still have to figure out how do we get to making the courses at least break even."
The fee increases are expected to boost income at Hobbits Glen and Fairway Hills by $25,900 and $30,000, respectively. Both courses, however, still will lose more than $300,000 this year.
Late last night, the council continued to debate the proposed $44.8 million budget for fiscal 1999 for the homeowners association.
The two most expensive projects in the proposed $6.4 million capital budget are a $980,000 community center for River Hill village and a $450,000 bubble to cover six courts at the Wilde Lake Tennis Club, enabling players to use them in the winter.
Some critics of the proposed community center have questioned whether the council should undertake any large capital project because last year it supported the construction of a $6 million athletic club in River Hill village. That club is to open in the fall.
Last night, the council also set rates for the SportsPark in Harper's Choice Village Center that will include batting cages and a state-of-the-art miniature golf course.
It will cost Columbia residents and CA members $4.50 to play mini-golf and nonresidents $5.
Columbia residents and CA members will have to pay $1 for one token at the batting cages and $5 for seven tokens. For nonresidents, it will be $1 for one token and $5 for six tokens.
An after-school program for students at Dunloggin Middle School may be eliminated after council members cut $30,000 from its budget.
The program, which is also offered at Owen Brown Middle School, helps students with homework and computer skills and is expected to lose $80,000 this year.
Also last night, the council added $50,000 to the budget to fund a study of ways to enforce Columbia covenants. Residents say violations are a growing problem as residences age and homes are not properly maintained.