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Another delay for public golf course build

Expect another delay in constructing the city’s new public golf course in Boca Teeca.

Given another chance to approve the existing Price Fazio design for Boca National Golf Course, council opted to wait for comparisons. Since the city is now paying for and building the course, council wants to hear from other designers first.

So the city will formally request proposals from golf course design firms. That could take at least six months, city manager Leif Ahnell said at Tuesday’s joint meeting.

Price Fazio, the district’s course design firm, will reply to that proposal, Wayne Braithwaite told Boca Voice afterward.

The third joint meeting between council and the Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District this year was held to hash out eight points the city requested.

Price Fazio reduced its costs to $13.4 million, not sacrificing quality, Braithwaite told council and the district. But that wasn’t enough to convince council to approve the firm. That’s required before a construction contract could be bid for the course at 5800 NW Second Ave.

Council members Andrea Levine O’Rourke and Monica Mayotte leaned toward approving the Price Fazio design.

But Mayor Scott Singer, Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rodgers and Councilman Andy Thomson all had reservations.

Giving the district a say in the final design decision was another sticking point. Thomson objected to giving the district a “veto.” But Commissioner Steve Engel called it “a consensus.”

Once the district pays off its bond to the city, it will own the golf course property. “We’re the landowners and we feel we deserve input,” Engel said.

The district just agreed to handing the build over to the city, admitting it was too cash strapped. They turned down a millage or tax rate increase after taxpayers turned out en masse, commissioners said. Most of the district’s revenue comes from property taxes.

But both sides agreed that building the public course quickly should be a priority.

“I wish we could open the course yesterday,” Singer said.

The next joint meeting is 6 p.m. Jan. 13 in the city’s 6500 N. Congress Ave. building.

By Marci Shatzman

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