|I would first like to thank everyone for your supportive words and comments over the past few days. The VtGCSA board has been very busy working for clarification of the Executive Order for all our members.|
We, at VtGCSA, are not lawyers but wanted you to have the following information as it applies directly to our jobs as golf course superintendents:
The Agency has issued guidance regarding property management and landscaping activities during this time.
Property Management and LandscapingProperty Management and Landscaping businesses may conduct limited in-person operations under the Governor’s Executive Order. Section 6 (m) of the Executive Order states that “other building and property services for the safety, sanitation and operations of residences or other businesses” are deemed critical. The Agency interprets this to include snow removal, building services such as janitorial services, and security services, and maintenance and repair operations that are essential to protecting property. Discretionary construction is not essential and addressed elsewhere in this guidance. Businesses should not continue aesthetic services such as gardening, tree pruning (if not essential for safety), or spring lawn cleanups.
Property management operations should only be conducted if they are in the nature of “repairs” that are essential to protecting the property, and should not be aesthetic in nature, or related to “Spring clean up”. Discretionary construction or new projects on the properties should cease. Any in-person, essential repair or protection operations should be done with limited person-to-person contact, adhering to CDC guidelines.
The Agency will not be issuing “determinations” regarding what specific maintenance and repairs are essential for protection – we don’t have that level of expertise as to what these properties need – however, we are asking that businesses please err on the side of caution and ask themselves, “is this operation worth the risk of having person-to-person contact”. If the answer is “no”, we are asking that operation cease. If the answer is yes, we are asking them to please adhere strictly to the CDC guidelines. We are hoping businesses make common sense decisions during this time.
I hope this provides clarity.
Jessica VintinnerLegislative Director & Principal Assistant Agency of Commerce and Community Development
The VtGCSA board recommends: Discuss with your owners, boards, committees, and leaders within your operations to develop a plan for your facility. Having a written minimum level of maintenance plan in place for your facility will protect our most important asset (your golf course) and provide attainable expectations throughout the length of this crisis.
For information regarding playing golf at our facilities: At this time, the ability for golf courses to remain open for play is unclear. The VtGCSA is communicating with the Vermont Golf Association regularly and ask that you kindly direct any inquiries regarding play at your facilities to them.
Thank you to our VtGCSA members for your advocacy efforts, and especially Jason Shattie of Burlington Country Club. Our association continues to be a great resource thanks to the contributions of the Board and all of you!