The irrigation system at Lakeview Golf Club in Meridian, Idaho is in poor condition and causing its owner financial strife, according to an article in the Idaho Statesman. A few years ago, a visiting Professional Golfers’ Association inspector he told the owners it was in the worst shape of any golf course he had seen in his entire career.
Since businessman Erik Oaas began leasing Lakeview from Meridian in 2005, Oaas said in the article that his company has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep the now-40-year-old system operational. He is now asking the city for help in replacing the entire irrigation system, at a cost of $2.5 million.
To fund the project, Oaas is proposing a private-public partnership with Meridian that could result in new residential development around the course and new amenities for golfers. Oaas proposed that Meridian create a Community Infrastructure District, which can take out bonds to finance public infrastructure — in this case, the irrigation system and updates to the greens.
Oaas also would build new high-end senior townhouses on 5 to 10 acres of what is now city land. He proposed using land currently used for parking, an irrigation canal and a maintenance building for the new amenities.
To pay back the bond, the infrastructure district would levy an assessment on the new homes built around the course, Oaas said in the article.
Idaho state law prevents Meridian from granting public land to a private company, so Oaas has proposed a land swap: Oaas would buy a parcel the city wants and give it to Meridian in return for some of the golf course land it owns that he needs to build the townhouses.
According to the article, City Council members advised Oaas to draft plans for the townhouses and start hosting neighborhood meetings on the proposed plan.