Item 1: DISCUSSION OF THE CURRENT STATUS REGARDING THE EFFORTS TO PRESERVE THE FORMER VISTOSO GOLF COURSE, SUBJECT TO EXISTING CONFIDENTIALITY REQUIREMENTS
This item was placed on the Agenda by Councilmember Solomon to provide an update and reassurance to the residents on the efforts to preserve the former Vistoso Golf Course. Since there are currently ongoing confidential negotiations by the parties involved much of the details cannot be discussed in public. The Town Attorney read a statement summarizing the current status which included the following main points:
During the past several months The Town, the Conservation Fund and Romspen have been involved in negotiations for the sale and purchase of the Vistoso Golf course so that it can be preserved as open space.
These negotiations have resulted in an agreement between the Conservation Fund and Romspen for the sale of the Vistoso Golf course. Romspen has agreed to a specific sales price and has acknowledged that The Conservation Fund is limited to paying no more than the appraised amount. A new appraisal is in process.
If the appraisal is up to or above the agreed sales amount the purchase will proceed between the Conservation Fund and Romspen. If the appraisal amount is less than the sales amount, if necessary the Town will become involved and utilize all available options to resolve any difference so that the preservation sale can proceed in a timely manner.
This item required no Council action.
Item 3: DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION SETTING PRIORITIES FOR SPECIFIC PROJECTS TO BE INCLUDED WITHIN THE PARKS AND RECREATION BOND
There were two main areas of discussion:
Are the Community Center funds available for this $25 Million spending project? The projected annual debt service cost is $1.7 Million over 20 years for a total cost of $34 Million (principle & interest). The average annual Community Center funds committed to the Community Center & Golf operations (not including any updates or improvements) is $1.2 Million. The projected ½ cent sales tax annual income is $2.9 Million. Therefore the $1.7 Million debt service would result in an annual net zero increase to the Community Center fund balance and may not leave room for any additional costs. Town Manager, Jacobs explained that it is projected that the Community Center Fund will start with over 2M fund balance so there will be a cushion to guard against this happening.
The Statistically Valid Survey And Community Input took two years to complete by Parks & Recreation, and it ultimately very clearly identified the top priorities ranked by the residents. The question was raised that if we already know the Community’s priorities, then why is the Council setting their own priorities? The list of improvements being considered by Council, presented by Vice Mayor Barrett (at a prior Council Meeting), did not follow the Community’s “high priorities”, but instead included spending on many items that were ranked “very low priority and usage” by the Community. The approval of spending for this list of projects was approved on a vote of 5-2 with Councilmembers Greene & Solomon voting no.