Save Blue Hill Golf Course

The Blue Hill contract is the #1 Budget Issue for 2016                   Get the Facts!

Facts about Blue Hill

Orangetown owns two golf courses, the 9-hole Broadacres Golf Course on the Rockland Psychiatric Center campus and the 27-hole Blue Hill Golf Course overlooking Lake Tappan. Supervisor Stewart’s 2016 budget projects major savings at Blue Hill based on proposals received from golf management companies. BlueHill

  • The Town owns this 27-hole golf course and has no intention of selling it or making it private. It is a valuable recreational facility, a hub of social activity and a great asset to open space and property values, and helps attract business growth.
  • Local businesses already manage the popular pro shop and restaurant on three-year contracts while course maintenance is currently performed by 8 town employees within the Parks Department.
  • Expenses at Blue Hill exceed revenues by an average of $600,000 per year, requiring an annual subsidy from the General Fund
  • Now Blue Hill’s debt to the General Fund has reached a whopping $3,500,000, money badly needed for other public works
  • Every year the town’s independent auditors report that the golf deficit must be fixed or the town’s bond rating will suffer. Here’s Moody’s, last year, citing “risk in the town’s golf course operations” as a challenge, and writing that “structural balance in the golf enterprise funds” could improve Orangetown’s bond rating.

“Deficits at Blue Hill are not inevitable and not acceptable. We can and we must act now in order to save money for taxpayers and maintain the quality of the course.”  

                                                                 – Supervisor Andy Stewart


  • In the spring of 2015, the Town Board unanimously approved a Request for Proposals (RFP) for management of the Blue Hill pro shop and restaurant, and for the first time also included a request for proposals to manage course maintenance as well.
  • Now responses to the RFP show that changing management of the golf course can save taxpayers at least $550,000 a year so that Blue Hill can start paying back some of the debts it has incurred.
  • The Town Council must review these responses, interview the businesses who responded (which include the current operators of both
    the restaurant and pro shop), conduct an impartial analysis and choose the best option for the town, which Andy believes will involve keeping Blue Hill open as a public golf course while hiring a new management company to stop the waste of taxpayer dollars.BlueHillPines
  • Under any management contract, the town will require contractor to maintain priority access for residents for scheduling tee times. Currently residents who are permit holders at the golf course have first access to reserving tee times, and are allowed to have seasonal tee time reservations. These permits and privileges will be maintained under any new management agreement. As usual, non-residents who obtain an associate membership at Blue Hill will be able to fill open slots left by resident golfers.
  • All current Blue Hill employees are guaranteed town jobs due to seniority, as per the union contract, if the Town Council agrees to a new management plan including a golf course maintenance contract.
  • Supervisor Stewart’s 2016 Budget Proposal includes anticipated savings of $550,000 at Blue Hill in 2016, assuming revenues stay flat (which is likely a conservative assumption), with these savings increasing annually over the three year life of the contract. The Supervisor’s budget can be downloaded here.

Broadacres is a Success!

We don’t have to guess whether a private management contract can work at Blue Hill. We just have to look a mile away at Broadacres Golf Course.

When Andy took office, the situation at Broadacres Golf Course was almost as bad as Blue Hill. Revenues were stagnant and the course was losing an average of $400,000 a year. Since Andy pushed the Town Board to hire a private company to manage Broadacres, revenues are up by 5% a year two years in a row (while staying essentially flat at Blue Hill during the same time), the course is getting closer to breaking even, and regular golfers are saying that Broadacres is better than ever.

A similar approach will work at Blue Hill.