Thursday, March 26, 2020

Guest View- John Spitler: Oro Valley's Proposed New Water Rates Will Reduce Municipal Golf Cost

A bit of "history" tells the story
It’s times like this when going back and reviewing history sheds additional light on current events or proposals.

In this case, it has to do with the Oro Valley Water wanting to raise drinking water rates and lower reclaimed water rates.

$1 Million in water revenue "lost" when the town purchased the El Conquistador Country Club
Prior to the Town of Oro Valley buying the El Con Golf and Tennis facilities in 2015, the El Conquistador Resort paid to the Town a million dollars annually to use re-claimed water for watering the 36 golf holes. [The Pusch Ridge course uses potable water.]

When the Town purchased the El Conquistador Country Club, the million dollars was lost as “revenue” to the town's water fund. Instead, it became a cost of doing golf business. Keep in mind that the biggest cost in running a golf course in the desert can be the cost of water!

The million dollars each year was not coming in to the town's water fund from an outside source. Just thinking logically this has to be expensed against the golf courses’ bottom line. 

A simple "book entry"makes municipal golf financial results look better
The water company wants to raise our water rates and lower the rates on re-claimed water.

Step back and look at this proposed raise in rates based on “history.”

If the Town has lost out on that $1 million dollars in water revenue and has to eat the cost somehow on the books, doesn’t it give credence that the overall cost of doing golf course business starts to look better, if re-claimed water rates to water the golf courses are lessened?

Aren’t we making up the difference in part as our water rates are rising and the Town’s cost to re-claimed water are lowered?

Isn’t this a stealthy way to prop up the bottom line of municipal golf, along with the increased sales tax already in place? 

Just a thought !!