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N4T Investigators: Oro Valley Council asks for more information on restoring Pusch Ridge Golf Course

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ORO VALLEY, Ariz. (KVOA) - The Oro Valley Town Council directed Town staff to gather more information on the costs associated with keeping the 9-hole Pusch Ridge Golf Course as a golf course, during its Wednesday meeting.

According to town spokesperson Misti Nowak, the Council voted to continue golf for the next three years while also asking the Town Manager to develop a plan for how this will be done, including pursuing a third-party lease option, how its continued feasibility will be evaluated, and opportunities to reduce water usage or consider potential new configurations. The Town Manager will present the framework on the execution of their direction at their March 17 regular meeting.

The Council discussed the issue for almost four hours. Council members listened to dozens of citizens, all of them were in favor of revitalizing the golf course.

The course has been shuttered since April due to Covid-19.

The Town Council was faced with two main options presented by Town staff: Option A was to restore the property into a presentable golf course, with a couple of different approaches to do that. Option B was to completely alter the property into natural space.

Both options would come with a hefty price tag. Staff broke down the estimated costs over the next few years. Both would likely cost upwards of a million dollars.

The properties irrigation system is aging and will need to be replaced in a few years, according to Town staff. That project alone will cost more than $1 million.

Council members clearly weren't taking any decision lightly, and began asking many questions of staff on various possible costs and impacts on water.

The Pusch Ridge Golf Course has been owned by the town since 2015. In February last year the town entered into a lease agreement with the owners of the nearby Hilton El Conquistador Resort, HSL Properties. HSL was planning on executing a lease by October 2020 but due to Covid19 backed out of the agreement.

Chorus Nylander

Chorus Nylander is the Chief Investigative Reporter for News 4 Tucson. He is focused on giving the voiceless a voice and holding the powerful accountable.

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