Borough to start replacing golf carts at Hop Brook

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Golfers head out to the course at Hop Brook Golf Course in Naugatuck last summer after picking up their golf cart. The borough will begin replacing the carts this year. –RA ARCHIVE
Golfers head out to the course at Hop Brook Golf Course in Naugatuck last summer after picking up their golf cart. The borough will begin replacing the carts this year. –RA ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — The borough will begin replacing the golf carts at Hop Brook Golf Course.

Public Works Director James Stewart laid out the plan for the borough to replace the 38 carts currently at the course during the Board of Mayor and Burgesses’ meeting this month.

Stewart said the best way to move forward was to lease to purchase three carts and sell three of the borough’s older carts every year until the fleet is replaced.

The carts cost $4,715 each, Stewart said after the meeting. The borough anticipates selling the older carts for about $1,000, he said.

Trading in three carts at a time would mean a 13- to 14-year replacement schedule for the fleet, Stewart said.

During the meeting Deputy Mayor Tamath Rossi asked about selling and replacing the entire fleet at one time, which had been one of the options previously discussed.

Stewart felt that purchasing a few carts a year was a better idea than leasing a whole fleet.

“If you look at buying three a year, the numbers on the surface look okay, but if you trade in all of our carts and lease them for six years, it is cheaper for those six years, but on the seventh year you have no carts. Then you’d be starting fresh without any rebate,” Stewart said.

Stewart said leasing all new carts at once would artificially make the rate less for a few years. Once that lease was up, the borough could start a new lease, but it would be at a much higher rate since it wouldn’t have anything to trade in.

“So in the short term it’s beneficial, but it will hurt us in the long term,” Rossi said.

Stewart said that in previous years the borough had replaced six carts at a time, but felt that three carts would be more prudent in the current economic climate.

Hop Brook Golf Pro Robert Clark brought the need for new golf carts to the borough’s attention last summer. At the time, Clark said that six of the course’s carts are broken beyond repair and proposed replacing 20 of that carts at that time.

Clark said that he fully supports the decision of the borough to implement a three-a-year cart rotation.

“I’m going to back whatever the town decides. Basically what it comes down to is they have to look at what is best for the borough and their finances,” Clark said.

Clark said replacing three carts a year will have an impact on the carts at the course.

“It’s going to be a little harder to rotate the carts. As long as we continue along the plan, it will work out best for everybody, though,” Clark said.

The oldest cart in the fleet is from 1993, Clark said.

Clark said the staff keeps the carts well maintained and does its best to keep them running.

“The one thing we do really well over here is take care of them,” Clark said.