TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Oro Valley Town Council is requesting more time and information from staff on what it will take to operate the Pusch Ridge Golf Course.
The original motion on the agenda last night for possible action was either operate the area as a 9-hole course, or turn it into open space. However, after 4 hours of deliberation, the council removed that motion and changed it.
They decided that they will be moving forward with the golf course option, however they are asking town council direct staff to return with a plan for operating the Pusch Ridge course to be evaulated in three years as to its continued feasibility, and capitol improvement requirements. They are also looking at alternatives to reduce water usage and new configurations as well as pursing a third party lease.
Town Manager Mary Jacobs is expected to present this at the council meeting on March 17th.
For residents near the El Conquistador neighborhood, it’s a step in the direction they favored.
″I would get on board with whatever is going to happen. But my first choice would for it to be restored to a golf course,” said HOA President of El Conquistador Patio Homes, Anna Bifano. Bifano said their HOA has offered to help pay for the golf course over a 5 year period.
“We would be willing to go to our homeowners—they would have to vote on it—and we would be providing the same equal amount per household the other two golf courses provided,” said Bifano.
For El Con resident Jim Bakarich, that’s an easy price to pay to protect his homes value.
“It would add to our yearly dues $150 dollars per household per year. That’s pretty cheap to keep your property values up,” said Bakarich.
The golf course option would require a large investment of money since the town did not manage upkeep over the months it was expected to be leased to HSL Properties.
“As we gear up to make some additional investments in maintaining this property that we hadn’t planned to do, than we’ll obviously have to spend more money from that fund in order to do so,” said Town Manager Mary Jacobs.
Jacobs said money would be taken out of the Community Center Fund, which helps fund the actual community center among other amenities. But the golf course itself is seen as a great addition to residents.
“It’s bigger than golf, it’s just also a wonderful amenity in telling people why you should come here,” said Bifano.