polo for babies Schuh quality of life investments shouldn include golf
He’s dedicating $350 million to school construction. The county executive earmarks $36 million to connect the county’s bike trails. Funding for two new boat ramps in the county is also included.
Schuh’s team went deep into the budgetary weeds to eliminate movie, athletic facility and mobile home taxes. He said his goal is to eliminate fees that place unnecessary burdens on families.
There’s money in the 2018 budget to plan for a tennis facility in Millersville and $50,000 to upgrade the pool at Woods Community Center in Severna Park.
Resting neatly on floating docks in Annapolis harbor, the easy slip on and slip offs await their owners’ return. There’s a strict a no shoes policy when touring a boat for sale.
The Anne Arundel County executive’s third budget includes $5 million for renovating Eisenhower Golf Course. That’s on top of the county paying the city of Annapolis $3.1 million for the Crownsville course in 2016.
Schuh called the Eisenhower course “dilapidated.” That’s because the county which was responsible for upkeep let it sink into disrepair.
But Schuh said, even in its current condition, it generates about $300,000 in annual profits. That, he said, will cover the bond to fund $5 million in renovations that will include a new clubhouse, cart barn,
irrigation upgrades and the rebuilding of bunkers, greens and converting the tee boxes and fairways to Bermuda grass.
While Schuh said the county won’t face any additional burden by financing Eisenhower’s upgrades, the county is still hemorrhaging cash at Compass Pointe Golf Course. It loses about $200,000 annually.
The county took over the Pasadena course about 13 years ago after the public private corporation overseeing construction couldn’t finance the project that started with a $17 million price tag. The county still has more than a decade of bond payments remaining on Compass Pointe.
The questions is, what happens if another economic downturn occurs and residents cut golfing from their budgets? Taxpayers will shoulder those costs. Every dollar spent on golf is a dollar not spent on fighting the opioid epidemic, adding more firefighters, police officers or teachers.
Cutting fees for mobile homes won’t guarantee immediate relief for residents, but Schuh believes there will be long term market driven cost savings. The same goes for movie ticket prices.
To his credit, Schuh never considered selling Eisenhower. He’s committed to having public golf access for all county residents. Eisenhower will offer central and south county access to the same recreational opportunity Compass Pointe offers north county residents
The action came nine months after the Federal Aviation Administration implemented a new “modernized” air traffic management system. If the county remains in the golf game, that’s a good thing for those not in the highest income levels. A weekend round for residents with a discount card is $46 before noon. Eisenhower and Compass Pointe green fees are comparable with county owned courses in Baltimore County.
Golfing doesn’t fit into that category. It’s time to drive that obligation into the private sector.