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Point of view: Why is city’s new public golf course still iffy?

Is the fate of Boca’s new public golf course decided? Not really.

The park district agreed to work with the city to build Boca National Golf Club after a long standoff. That was a relief.

But that’s where it sits. No closer to construction or an opening date before the city closes on the sale of Boca’s muni.

So much for Keep Golf in Boca, the mantra both sides like to repeat.

Who really cares about this anyway? Lots of taxpayers, among them residents of the 212 waiting acres in Boca Teeca. A new golf destination would raise property values and revitalize that end of the city.

But hundreds of people with no skin in the game ventured strong opinions at meetings. They knew what they didn’t want, but most wanted something.

But there’s still no sense of urgency.

City council raised the issue earlier this week, but it wasn’t on their agenda. Discourse on the course wasn’t on the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District agenda either. They bought the land and picked the design firm.

What’s everybody waiting for?

The district’s next meeting is Oct. 21. They need to respond in writing and nail down details. Council meets Oct. 22. It’s entirely possible they’ll start over. It took the district two years to get this far. The next joint meeting isn’t until Nov. 12.

“We’re ready to take this on,” Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rodgers said at Monday’s workshop.

The city offered to take over at least half the course and pay for other major park improvements. That’s still on the table.

PGA pro Rick Heard met with the district and city staff over a cheaper Price Fazio design the district wanted approved. That was a sticking point, too.

“It’s not us displacing them,” Rodgers said. “It’s still a team effort.”

But Mayor Scott Singer started from scratch. He questioned the course construction, management, cost and design.

Big questions that still linger.

By Marci Shatzman

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