Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The Watchdog Report: Community Center Financials, April 2020

The trends are still disappointing
The April financials are posted and, once again, the trend is not going the way the Hiremath/Solomon/Rodman crew had predicted. Through April 2020, the Community Center Fund (CCF) has a positive balance of $512,009. However, that’s $257,736 less than the same time last year when the CCF had a positive balance of $769,745.

Of the $512,009 balance, the Town still has not funded $79,407 of budgeted capital improvements. The Town is now forecasting that the CCF will end the fiscal year with a loss of $17,223. This is the same fund that is proposed to fund $800,000 in capital improvements in FY 2020/21. Where is that $800,000 going to come from?

Troon Golf lost more this April than last April
Troon lost $42,184 more in April 2020 than they did in April 2019. This is remarkable considering that the Crooked Tree Golf Course was closed in April 2020. The Arizona Daily Star ran an article on how the Covid pandemic was a boon for Tucson golf. Apparently, the players that had been golfing at Crooked Tree decided to utilize Tucson City courses rather than the Oro Valley courses.

In April 2020, there were 909 fewer non-member rounds of play than in April 2019. To further illustrate my point, another golf course within 5 miles of the Oro Valley courses had 6,834 rounds of non-member play on 18 holes, while the Oro Valley courses had 2,684 non-member rounds on 45 holes. Do you see a trend here?

Golf member dues and HOA contributions are not enough
The golf members (all 260 of them) have contributed $908,967 towards their private course. If you add the additional $125,000 contribution from the HOA’s along the golf courses, there still is not enough money to fully support an 18-hole golf course.

The 36-hole “pay as you go” option is not working. The revenue produced by the members and the HOA’s is not nearly enough. The revenue trends are going in the wrong direction.

Hiremath’s pie-in-the-sky predictions were wrong
YOUR sales tax support was $2,148,164 through April 2020 which is $114,788 more than the same time frame in 2019, yet the Town is still forecasting that the CCF will end the fiscal year (ends June 30th) with a $17,223 deficit.

That means that this investment will NOT earn a profit (or even break even) after 5 years as promised by former Mayor Hiremath during the December 17, 2014 council meeting when he said:
“We’re telling you that in the first two years, we’re going to lose major money on it, but…in year 4 or 5 or 6 are we going to project a profit? You’re darn right we are.”
Gee, if only someone had tried to warn him.  It must be those darn "headwinds."  Wink-wink.

Mike Zinkin and his wife have lived in Oro Valley since 1998. He served on the Oro Valley Development Review Board from 2005-2009, the Board of Adjustment from 2011-2012, and the Town Council from 2012-2016. He was named a Fellow for the National League of Cities. He was a member of the NLC Steering Committee for Community and Economic Development and a member of the Arizona League of Cities Budget and Economic Development Committee. He was an Air Traffic Controller for 30 years. Mike has a Bachelor’s degree in history and government from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education from California State University, Northridge.