Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Federal ARPA Funds Could Help Fund Golf Irrigation Replacement

Town council to discuss options for replacing irrigation of two municipal golf courses tonight
Tomorrow night, the Oro Valley Town Council will discuss replacing the irrigation on the town’s two 18-hole golf courses. According to the town, both courses need the irrigation replaced. The irrigation of both courses is from 31 to 40 years old. This is beyond the expected life of irrigation according to the American Society of Golf Course Architects.

Irrigation systems showing their age
Indeed, according to town staff, the irrigation system of both courses is showing its age: “Over the past five years, the Conquistador and Cañada courses have experienced a combined 175 main line breaks. These breaks have occurred on nearly every hole and vary in severity and impact. During this timeframe over $200,000 has been spent on irrigation repair. It is estimated over 5 million gallons of water have been lost due to these irrigation breaks.”

Bid for irrigation replacement for both courses total $7.8 million
Wadsworth Golf Construction Company is the low bidder for replacing the irrigation The bid is $7.8 million. That bid is well above what was anticipated when the town acquired the courses from HSL Properties (link) in 2015.

ARPA and Parks and Recreation Bond funds could be funding sources
“The Town is in a strong financial position and can currently afford to absorb the additional cost beyond the original budget using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) revenue replacement funds, which are unrestricted as to their use.”

According to staff calculations, $4.6 million of ARPA funds qualify as revenue replacement. Per town council direction in July, an estimated $4.5 million of the $25 million Parks and Recreation bond was planned for use towards the irrigation system replacement.”

Staff presenting three options
Staff is presenting three options for the council to consider this evening:
  • Full Irrigation Replacement
    The town use $3.3 million of ARPA Funds to supplement the July designated parks and recreation bond money if the council wants to move forward with a complete replacement of the irrigation on both courses.
  • Complete Canada Course only
    The Cañada course has experienced 20 percent more main line breaks than the Conquistador course over the last five years. Fully replacing Cañada’s irrigation system would be a form of triage that addresses the system with the most failures. The estimated cost of this option is $3.95 million.
  • Partial Irrigation System Replacement to Mitigate Catastrophic Loss Including Main line Section Running Underneath Major Roadways
    This option involves replacing various portions and equipment on both courses at a cost ranging from $3 to $8 million.
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