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Building Boca’s new public golf course on hold

Boca has a long list of unresolved issues on the new public golf course. That puts building Boca National Golf Club on hold for now.

The city loaned the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District $20 million to buy the closed Ocean Breeze course in Boca Teeca.

On Monday the district got 20 pages of questions to answer before financing is decided and construction can start.

City council also asked for a workshop before agreeing to a joint meeting on the new course.

“We haven’t had a heart to heart,”  Commissioner Craig Ehrnst said at Monday’s district meeting. “We have to determine what we can really do financially. Selling Ocean Strand is not an option.” Ocean Strand is undeveloped district property on north A1A.

“This letter brings up our ability to finance, own and operate,” district Commissioner Steve Engel said.

“We’re in, so we have to find a way to get it done,” concluded Commissioner Robert K. Rollins Jr.

The city liked the overall course design by Price Fazio, calling it “user friendly with sufficient teeing areas for golfers of all abilities.”

Here’s some city concerns:

·    Estimated cost of a tunnel under Northwest Second Avenue is $2.45 million. But the city wants a meeting with traffic staff first and a new construction schedule.

·    The city asked what plans are in place to address cost increases and contingencies. The district contends their budget review shows they won’t have to raise the millage rate they charge taxpayers “with proper financing” for the course.

·    Is the district requesting financial support for construction, the city wants to know?  “If so, in what form, in what amount and based on what timing/schedule? If not, what is the source of funding,” the city asked in the letter.

By Marci Shatzman

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