Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Guest View-George Lindsay: Golf Is A Good Investment for the Town

The following is a letter that Mr. Lindsay sent to the Oro Valley Town Council and town manager in July. He also submitted it to LOVE as a Guest View.  While we do not agree with all of Mr. Lindsay's points, we do agree with some of them, and LOVE welcomes all points of view.
Mayor and Council:

As more information becomes available, it appears the Mayor and Council should come to the conclusion that the purchase of the Community Center and golf courses were a good investment for the Town. As in the private industry, not all acquisitions are perfect but good management improves the operations and makes the adjustments to respond to the market place.

The Community Center provides a wide array of activities for Oro Valley residents, young and old, that would not be available under the prior ownership; the summer activity programs for the area’s youth, the fitness programs, pool and tennis programs, to name a few.

The golf courses are in the best shape in years as noted by numerous players and residents. Contrary to what we hear, play and revenues are up and the Town has budgeted for operational as well as deferred maintenance expenditures through bonds.

We seem to focus on the costs and overlook the benefits to the Town as a whole. The Community Center Fund is trending positive, as predicted, the Town can market itself as a “golf destination” which brings winter visitors and tax revenues, and our residents have access to a wide array of activities to improve their way of life.

Perhaps the Town should consider continuing their negotiations with the resort and the Pusch Ridge HOA’s for transfer of the 9 hole course for a “win-win” situation for everyone. Although the Town already has an abundance of trails (54.5 miles), allowing trail access to one or both courses during certain hours, as is the case in Sun City, can expand public use of the land, while retaining the property values and benefits of “green scape.” The Town can develop an ordinance to allow for enforcement of the land uses which it needs but currently does not have.

Information provided to the mayor and council cites a reduction in treated waste-water with the reduction in holes could result in the loss of operational revenues for the Water Utility, thereby necessitating rate increases for either treated waste water or potable water to keep reclaimed rate increases reasonable. Increasing everyone’s water rates will not go over well with residents.

Once all the costs as well as environmental and financial impacts are addressed, it appears that the true cost differential from status quo to linear parks will not be significant.

It appears that the Canada Hills Master Association including Carmel Pointe, Canada Hills Village 19 and others, Chamber of Commerce, the Tucson Realtors Association all support the Community Center and 36 holes of golf. Can they all be wrong?

Ed Note: Mr. Lindsay owns a home overlooking the 18-hole Conquistador course.