On Jan 27, 2020 the Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District (The District) met to finalize their joint plan with the City of Boca Raton (City) to rebuild the defunct Ocean Breeze golf course into a municipal golf course. This did not happen.
- The Executive Director for The District, Briann Harms, opened the discussion asking the City to approve the Price/Fazio course design. Harms pointed out that The District has formally declined the new Interlocal Agreement (ILA). The District plans to self-fund the new course at $14 million and operate under the February 2018 ILA. See the press release from The District for details.
- In a prior meeting, the District presented a detailed plan to build the course over a five-year period using future taxes. The City objected to the length of time to build the course. They said they (the City) could build it in 18 months if given total control and allowed to decide on the design. The City also committed to funding the total project itself. The District disagreed over who picks the designer.
- The discussion turned to the new ILA which the city wants to use replace the Feb 2018 ILA. The District will not sign the new ILA since it felt the terms were egregious, onerous, and one sided. The City Attorney said the City felt otherwise. The District disagreed.
- It was pointed out by a speaker that the District has spent two years and $1 million after evaluating 17 proposals from the best designers in the world and decided that the Price/ Fazio was the best one to go to bid. The City still wants to put out their own Request for Proposals (RFP) which they claim could lead to a cost savings. The District feels this is a waste of time and money and again asked City to sign off on the Price/Fazio design. The City declined.
- It was pointed out several times by the City that they don’t believe The District can afford to build the course and meet its obligations to fund Gumbo Limbo , Ocean Strand, the CRA, beaches, and park maintenance on Sugar Sand, Patch Reef, Swim and Racket Center, Red Reef, and Spanish River Parks. The District disagreed.
- In summary, the District doesn’t trust the City to build a quality course that will meet their desires. They believe that the City’s plan will lead to failure and the terms in the proposed new ILA will lead to financial ruin for the District. Both sides agreed to disagree on these points.
But, they agreed to have the next meeting March 23rd, 2020.
Points to Ponder
- Instead of the City putting out another RFP why don’t they evaluate The District’s 17 responses and pick one of them for an RFP?
- Why don’t the City and District’s attorneys meet and hash out a new ILA that both sides can agree on?
- How will the National Golf Foundation response to The District’s-requested revenue projections affect this debate?
- How will a possible Jeffery Street railroad crossing and 4 lane extension to Dixie Hwy effect the design of the course?
- On March 8, 2020, will the District conclude that the City has “unreasonably withheld” approval of the design and proceed to put it out for bid?
- In its letter to the City on Jan 23, 2020 the District has given the City 45 days to comply with the February 2018 ILA. March 8, 2020 is the 45-day deadline.