Is golf course in the bag? Council to decide |

Is golf course in the bag? Council to decide

by Greg MassPost Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – A loan of more than $12 million could be authorized by City Council without voter approval Thursday to pay for a municipal golf course and other recreational amenities. Council also may award a contract of $235,000 – plus possible extra charges if the city decided to purchase more services – to Phelps Golf Course Design of Evergreen to plan and oversee construction of the golf course. A draft copy of the contract was included in the City Council meeting materials. No competitive bid for the contract is needed because, in a process similar to the city’s hiring of Brunetti DEC – the company that designed the city’s Community Broadband System – golf course design is considered a “professional service” and doesn’t require a bid, City Councilman Dave Merritt confirmed Tuesday. Both issues are on the agenda for the regular City Council meeting, set for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at Glenwood Springs City Hall.The golf course and driving range on the hillside north of Glenwood Meadows and at the foot of Red Mountain, estimated to cost $8 million, received City Council conceptual approval on March 12.On April 16, council met in a work session to discuss funding a golf course, kayak park, swimming pool and tennis courts. They informally decided to use certificates of participation to fund the projects. Certificates of participation, or COPs, are a method many municipalities have used to borrow millions of dollars without legally going into debt, thereby skipping the need for a public vote that would be required under Colorado’s TABOR Act. Repayment for the COPs would require year-to-year approval by council.But in order to borrow the money using COPs – as opposed to getting a general obligation bond or a revenue bond – the city must put up property equal in worth to the amount borrowed as collateral. Five of the seven council members agreed at the work session that the city should borrow the money using COPs because the amenities built with the money – especially the golf course – would eventually generate money and help pay off the loan. Also, they said an 18-hole golf course could help lure someone to build a hotel and convention center in the city. If council approves the $12.3 million loan, around $8 million would be used to build a golf course.Another $1 million would fund a kayak park on the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers. Council would also pitch in another $750,000 toward the fund-raising drive for a swimming pool at the Community Center, putting the city’s total pledge for the pool at $1.5 million. According to a 20-year bond debt service schedule produced by Stifel Nicolaus/Hanifen Imhoff Inc., if the city borrows $12.3 million in COPs, the interest would total $6.3 million. Payments would be around $1 million per year for 20 years. City manager Mike Copp has said revenues from the South Canyon Landfill would be used to pay off the loan.Council members in favor of using COPs to fund the recreational amenities argued that if the money isn’t borrowed soon, the city could miss locking in the low interest rates that are available today. Also on the agenda, City Council will:-Consider second reading approval of an ordinance that makes it illegal to have loud, modified mufflers on city streets. -Consider second reading approval on when downtown design standards should be applied. -Consider appropriating up to $10,000 to the Mountain Regional Housing Corp. to help that organization meet its goal of finding affordable housing for those who need it. -Consider a request to rebuild the downtown fire station at the corner of 8th Street and Cooper Avenue. -Consider a change order with Gould Construction to finish paving the Community Center trail. -Consider airport-related matters, including South Bridge cost estimates, improvement cost savings and proposed language for an airport land use question on the Nov. 4 election. -Consider an ordinance that would outlaw aggressive solicitation within the city. City Council will meet at 5 p.m. for a work session on the historic Linwood Cemetery.Contact Greg Mass: 945-8515, ext.

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