Otay Water District Protects Ratepayers From Former Golf Course Costs
On a 5-0 vote, the Board of Directors of the Otay Water District took action on April 11 to protect its ratepayers from the immediate costs of maintaining the former Salt Creek Golf Course. The Board made this decision after reviewing the findings of an agronomy study commissioned by the District. The study found that the costs of continuing to irrigate and maintain the 239-acre former golf course are greater to ratepayers than the long range costs of not irrigating and maintaining the former golf course and potentially repairing the turf at a later date. This decision does not affect the ability to initiate a new lease on the property as a golf course, if the Board makes that decision in the coming months.
“The decision to close the golf course was the sole decision of the former lessee and owner of the golf course asset,” said Tim Smith, President of the Board. “Now that the lease has been terminated and the property has been returned to the District, the Board has determined not to initiate irrigation of the golf course at this time, as it would be speculative to assume the continued operation of the property as a golf course. Continued irrigation would also place the burden of those costs on Otay’s ratepayers.”
“Directly maintaining a golf course is not a typical function of our water district,” said board member Mitch Thompson. “This decision ensures that the District stays focused on providing exceptional water, recycled water, and sewer service, at the lowest possible cost, to its customers.” The process for deciding the eventual future use of the property will be deliberated by the Board at the May 2 public meeting. Board members Mark Robak and Mitch Thompson are the two members of the District’s ad hoc committee that was created to recommend to the Board next steps in establishing a transparent and fair process to determine the best long-term use of the property in the interest of its ratepayers.