Preserving the Residential Character of Boca Teeca

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Park District Optimistic on Terms with City

At last night's meeting of the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District (The District) executive director & District attorney Art Koski provided an optimistic update on the negotiations over the terms of the borrowing through the city to complete the acquisition of the Ocean Breeze property.   There were several negative issues in the draft of the proposed agreement by the City staff which Mr. Koski has discussed this week with city manager Leif Ahnell that indicated the city's willingness to be more flexible of some of the controlling terms.  Assistant city manager George Brown has been the point person within the city and Mr. Koski indicated that he is out of the office until Thursday at which time they will continue these negotiations.

The borrowing agreements in the past between the City and the District have included he joint title to the property being acquired and no other restrictions on either party regarding the operation or oversight of the acquired property.  Accordingly, the City should be able to agree to similar terms since they have already agreed to sell their current municipal golf course to GL homes for $65 million and they should welcome the opportunity to place the cost and operating responsibility of a new Boca National golf club onto the District.

This agreement is expected to be on the agenda at the City workshop meeting on 1/8/18 at 1pm and there will be an opportunity for public comments at this encourage the city council decision makers to be as cooperative as their predecessors were in the past in providing financing to the District for the acquisition of land for public parks.  Residents should consider attending this meeting and speaking in favor of a very cooperative agreement by the City in order to facilitate this acquisition by the District.

At the District meeting there was also discussion about the selection of an architect and their team for  re-working the acquired golf property.   The District will hold a meeting on 1/16 in which they expect to decide how many of the 15 companies they will select for interviews on 1/25 & 1/26--these meetings will not be open to the public under state of Florida statutes.  The RFP responses will be able for viewing by the public after 1/20 as there is a 30-day delay from when these
RFPs were received by the District.  All commissioners and Mr. Koski were confident that the selected "team" will provide a great golfing facility which will be available to District residents at a price discount from the general public.

There will also be a District meeting on 1/29 that is scheduled to discuss the golf course course, but it was not clear if this meeting will be open to the public since the selection process is exempt from public meeting requirements.  District commissioners did indicate there will be opportunities for golfer/public input into the development process after the architect team is selected, so please stay in touch with the District commissioners or attend District meetings if you wish to have input into this process.  The estimated completion date of the Boca National golf club is estimated to be 18-24 months from the closing of the purchase on 2/28/18 which should be shortly after the closing of the current city owned municipal golf course.

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