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Council approves $1.7 mil. subsidy for The Crossings

CARLSBAD — City Council voted unanimously Nov. 30 to approve a $1.7 million subsidy for The Crossings at Carlsbad golf course, which will help the greens stay in the black in 2011.
Citing difficult economic times, council members said it was necessary to approve the subsidy if The Crossings can be successful in the future. The city-owned golf course has struggled since opening in the midst of a recession in 2007.
“We’ve looked at this very closely,” Mayor Bud Lewis said. “I could care less about the game, but I do care if the course can make money for Carlsbad.”
The Crossings’ General Manager Jeff Perry reported a slight increase in projected revenues at the course in 2011, around $5.6 million, and $7.2 million in expenditures, which includes an increase in water rates and debt repayments.
“I do see some positive results,” Perry said, attributing much of the course’s past success to its clubhouse, dining and events. “On the golf side — that’s one of the areas where we continue to struggle.”
Perry also noted that while several areas on the 18-hole course are in need of repair, the current subsidy would not cover those costs. Instead, the issue will be presented to council in the future for direction.
“I am willing to stay the course, duly noting that we are fronting the money,” Councilman Mark Packard said, in favor of the subsidy. “I still anticipate that in time, as the economy improves and the golf course resolves some of its issues, that we will be able to see some profitability out of this.”
However, local residents are not as optimistic about the course as council.
Thirty-year resident Jeff Briggs voiced his displeasure with the council’s continued support of a project he fears is draining the general fund.
“I don’t think this golf course should go on at all and I don’t think that a $1.7 million subsidy should be approved,” Briggs said. “The taxpayers in town are paying for that and most taxpayers don’t use that golf course.”
Chris Cate from the San Diego Taxpayers Association said that while his organization usually applauds council for their financial moves, they could not offer the same praise for this project.
As The Crossings at Carlsbad’s management and city leaders continue to stand by the golf course, they are celebrating several accomplishments achieved in 2010.
It earned Golf World’s Readers Choice as No. 1 Public Food and Dining Facility in the United States and Sign on San Diego’s “Best of San Diego” as a wedding venue and course practice facility.