A recent letter writer to the editor blames the golf course for "a town population struggling to pay for food, heat, water, taxes, electricity and other essentials."
As one of my golf partners would say, REALLY?
The land and the lucrative water rights were donated to the town for the purpose of building the golf course. The golf course is a fully paid for multimillion dollar asset.
At least a couple of times the trustees have transferred water rights from the golf course enterprise fund to the water enterprise fund to cover operating shortfall in revenue. The management issue for the trustees is that water rights are not cash flow.
The key recurring cost issue has been the quality of the golf course building.
The building is rented/leased to restaurant businesses requiring constant upgrade and costly repairs to maintain a minimum level of compliance. The problem has been solved. Wildfire Pizza and Wine Bar upgraded the building with a personal investment of well over $150,000. A private investment in town owned property!
History often predicts the future. The housing development, which would not exist without the golf course, has about 120 homes and townhomes. The homes tend to be a little more valuable than most in Cedaredge and contribute a significant amount in property tax. About 45 percent of our tax bill goes to schools and school bond. The rest goes to the county, town, fire district, hospital, library, road, bridge, ambulance, cemetery, etc.
The entire town enjoys the benefit of these taxes. If the golf course were closed, the property values would crash along with the property tax revenue and the burden would then fall on others in the town.
Look to the future for a recovering economy. More homes will be built resulting in construction jobs and associated trades. Economic activity will increase generating increases in sales tax revenue. Local businesses will be booming. None of this will happen if the golf course is closed. Look forward to a profitable golf course that generates cash for all of the town and the town's future needs. A couple of these needs are predictable like waste treatment and water capacity.
Stay the course Cedaredge trustees, keep investing in our town.
By the way, the pizza at Wildfire is the best.
Alan D. Brown
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