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GCSAA Town Hall recap

By |  April 8, 2020 0 Comments

The GCSAA hosted a Town Hall webinar to keep the industry updated on golf course maintenance designations as essential or nonessential; the CARES Act; best social distancing practices and golf course maintenance practices; and CGCS designations.

“Any time we’re dealing with the uncertainties, the more we can communicate with each other, it’s really important,” says Rhett Evans, CEO of GCSAA.

The panelists of the webinar included Nate Scott, director of HR; Chava McKeel, director of government affairs; Bob Helland, director of congressional and federal affairs; Michael Lee, manager of government affairs; Shelia Finney, senior director of member programs; and Kerri Reisdorff, shareholder at the law firm Ogletree Deakins.

Evans notes that Class A and CGCS members will be provided additional time (until Sept. 1) to acquire points needed to maintain classification status and CGCS designation. New webinars are hosted every week and welcome superintendents to participate in any of that education throughout the next several months.

At the time of the webinar, 45 states had issued executive orders, 31 are open for golf and are still allowing maintenance to be performed, 13 are prohibiting play of golf but allowing maintenance and one (Minnesota) has prohibited golf and maintenance, according to Evans.

The resources section of GCSAA website includes 50 state breakdown of golf play and golf maintenance. There’s an additional column that has some local considerations but not all.

“We’re really dialed in and we want to ensure that minimal golf maintenance is allowed at these properties,” McKeel says. “The next two weeks are going to be incredibly difficult for our country, similar to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, but we are going to have to hunker down as a nation so we can reach the top of the bell curve and make our way down.”

Regarding the CARES Act, Helland explains that if a golf course is a 501(c)7 organization, it’s not (as of now) entitled to any help for small business under the CARES Act.

The paycheck protection program (PPP) under the CARES Act provides loans only to 501(c)3 and 501(c)19. Loans are expected to be available starting this week. Helland adds that action has been sent out to Congress to support 501(c)7 organizations under the PPP

Multicourse operations or management with fewer than 500 employees may be eligible for PPP; however, those with more than 500 employees may not be.

As far as current health recommendations, Finney recommends superintendents visit the CDC website for recommendations and list of sanitizers approved by COVID-19. She adds that reliable turfgrass research available on preferred/ideal mowing heights for keeping turf long term with minimal inputs/management/mowing is also on GCSAA’s resource page.

When it comes to employees, Reisdorff notes that the Department of Labor says any time off before April 1 doesn’t qualify for the Families First Act.

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