Published On: Thu, Jan 9th, 2020

Boca National Golf Course

Greater Boca Raton Beach and Parks District Declines City’s Latest ILA, Will Move Ahead With Planned Golf Course

Boca Raton, FL – Buoyed by the constant, often fervent, support of their golfing community, Boca Raton Beach and Parks District commissioners voted unanimously on Monday to retain developmental control of the Boca National Golf Course project.

“I just want to thank the commission for doing the right thing,” said Harold Chaffee, president of the non-profit organization Keep Golf In Boca.

Already operating with the District under an Interlocal Agreement (ILA) agreed upon in February of 2018, the City of Boca Raton presented the District with a revised ILA in December that would have ceded more control over the project to the city while forcing the District to potentially absorb more of the project’s cost.

Called “one-sided” by several commissioners and warned by Commissioner Craig Ehrnst, the District’s treasurer, that it could produce a “nuclear financial mess,” the District decided to continue operating under the ILA currently in place.

“This kind of agreement should have never left city hall,” Ehrnst said during Monday’s commission meeting. “It’s kind of a wish list of things. It gets you a flat, ‘No.’ I could never support having the district enter this kind of an agreement that could be so financially harmful to the public, members of the community.”

The District’s vote to decline the latest ILA elicited rousing applause from meeting attendees.

“I would like to congratulate the commissioners on a bold and positive decision,” PGA teaching pro Rick Hurd said.

To be built in northeast Boca Raton on what was formerly the Boca Teeca, then Ocean Breeze, golf course, Boca National sported an original price tag of $20 million.

The District spent the last year working to meet ever-changing City demands for the project, including refining the scope. Eliminating some proposed aspects of Boca National – most notably an on-site hotel – lowered the estimated cost to $13.4 million, in line with what City officials requested.

For more than two years the District listened to constituents – particularly golfers – then designed the kind of world class facility the community wants and deserves. Boca National will include an 18-hole golf course, an 11-hole short course, practice facilities, a learning center and a temporary clubhouse. The facility will be open to the public.

Declining the City’s latest ILA proposal allows the District to keep the current Price/Fazio golf course design in place. In accordance with the original ILA, the City still needs to approve the design plans, an approval that, by contract, can not be “unreasonably withheld.”

By reducing the cost of the project to align with previous requests from the City, the District believes it has met all reasonable parameters set forth by the City.

The District will fund Boca National by re-prioritize the funding of some current and future projects. Constituents agreed that any delays incurred by the District’s decision to self-fund the project are more than offset by the District’s assurances that all of the key golf-related components remain included.

“We’ve been in the trenches with these guys for two-and-a-half years and we trust that they know what we want, so if we have to wait a little longer to get the right thing, so be it,” said Greg Galanis, President of Boca Golf Association.

About The Greater Boca Raton Beach And Park District

The District is committed to the acquisition and development of parks and recreation facilities. It seeks to provide entertaining and engaging leisure, educational, athletic and cultural activities to all of its residents and guests. The District owns multiple recreational facilities and/or parks in the Boca Raton area, including Sugar Sand Park, Patch Reef Park, the Swim and Racquet Center and Ocean Strand. In addition, through interlocal agreements with the City of Boca Raton, it funds the operating expenses of the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, Red Reef Park, Spanish River Athletic Facilities and Mizner Bark Dog Park.

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