Preserving the Residential Character of Boca Teeca

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

City Staff Not Cooperating with Park District

City staff are not cooperating with the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District in their effort to acquire the Ocean Breeze golf course property.  The city has provided an Inter-Local Agreement (ILA) which is the normal process for cooperative efforts between the City and the GBRBPD.  This ILA provides the repayment and other terms of the lending of funds to the GBRBPD for the acquisition of the property, BUT the terms are so onerous that the GBRBPD commissioners could never agree to what the city staff has proposed.

First, the city has a requirement that they will control the golf course property until the loan is paid off to the city.  This is akin to a bank demanding the use of your home until the mortgage is paid off.  Also, none of the past ILA agreements have such an intolerable requirement.

Secondly, the city is requiring that the GBRBPD pay the salaries and benefits of the current golf course employees during any period when the current golf course is closed and the Boca Natinoal golf course opens.  The GBRBPD has not even agreed to use the staff of the current golf course and in no way should the GBRBPD be liable for these employees.  Isn't the city getting $65 million from the sell of the current municipal golf course?  Obviously the city is not planning to use any of these funds to cooperate with the GBRBPD in providing an upgrade recreational facility to the residents.

Thirdly, the city is requiring a penalty for early repayment of the loan, whereas, this term is typically not in the borrowing via municipal bonds that normally have the ability to be repaid after 10 years.  The city is only acting as a pass-through entity on this loan, so why is the city trying to make a profit off of the GBRBPD when they are already getting a $65 million windfall?

The GBRBPD has fully cooperated with the city in current ILAs that has the city employees operating the parks, so that over $16 million in the current fiscal year is being paid to the city for these services.  Maybe the GBRBPD should cancel that ILA and hire an outside service to maintain and operate the parks which could result in a large savings to the GBRBPD.  

Or, the city can act as the cooperative agent that has allowed the city residents to enjoy well maintained beaches and parks and provide the loan without any restrictions and pass through the funds as has been historically done in these property acquisitions that result in expanded parks throughout our city.  This is NOT a good effort on the part of the city which has expanded the population dramatically without providing sufficient funding to recreational facilities or schools within the area.

Now is a good time to call & email your city council members to let them know your opinions on their uncooperative efforts.


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