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Fate Of Lemoore Golf Course Uncertain

June 23,2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 12.36.15 PMA well crafted plan to let voters have the final say on the fate of the city-owned Lemoore Golf Course was blown up this week as the Tachi-Yokut tribe pulled of a possible purchase of the facility, a fallback in case voters said no. The city course is more than $3.6 million in debt and the local tribe had previously offered $5 million to buy it promising to keep it a golf course.

Now an unexpected email read in council chambers Monday changed all that – with the city clerk’s office confirming the contents that the tribe was “no longer interested.”

That ruined Lemoore city staffer Joe Simonson,the Parks and Recreation Director’s two point plan for citizens to decide whether to tax themselves to keep the course and relieve the debt or sell it if they did not approve either the taxing or Benefit Assessment idea.

Unlike a tax, a Benefit Assessment requires only a majority of the ballots collected by mail per CA Proposition 218 .A preliminary study was done by Quad Knopf and Finance Director Cheryl Silva on terms of a Special Assessment District. It would be $3,600,677 over a thirteen (13) year period and will coincide with the payoff of all the debt.. It would also restore all General Fund and Lemoore Redevelopment Successor Agency monies that were borrowed by the golf Course in such a way as not to burden the General Fund in the future. The cost for 7,066 private properties would be approximately $39.20 per year or $3.27 per month for a thirteen (13) year period says the staff report

A Benefit Assessments require a special benefit to the assessed property owner. The engineer is reviewing whether the benefit could be a reduction in Green Fees and/or other yet to be determined benefit. The result will be determined by the Engineers Report. Council should be aware that it is possible that the engineers “may not be a viable option” says the staff report.

That left the council with not much to chew on even as time is running out for placing such a measure on the ballot this November.
For now the long-debated plan of whether to keep it or sell it has been settled with no buyer at hand. Council said they would take the matter up later.

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