I wonder how many million-dollar homes can be squeezed onto the beautiful slopes of DeBell.
DeBell is an asset well worth the loan
As president of the Burbank Senior Men’s Golf Club, I would like to respond to the criticism by Burbank residents to the loan of $1 million and to the reserve of another $1 million to potentially help the Debell Golf Club through difficult economic times.
The course for many years was a revenue producer. It accumulated millions of dollars in an enterprise fund which was to be used to rebuild the old clubhouse. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the construction cost rose.
The city loaned the money needed to be repaid over time. It was not a gift. Since then, the economy has gone into a severe downturn and the rounds played have dropped, leaving the course with a deficit.
Saving Debell is not just for the elite golfers who play there. It is a unique city asset. In addition to providing a place to play golf, the players give back to the city in many ways. The Burbank Senior Men’s Golf Club maintains a junior golf fund to provide help to the high schoolers and any other junior golfer who cannot afford the expense of competing in tournaments.
We also contributed $500 to the fund to replace the turf at the Burbank High School playing field. We also gave $500 for the Memorial Day flyover at the McCambridge Park ceremonies.
Many of our golfers participate in the yearly Joslyn Adult Center events which help them continue their good works for our seniors. The clubhouse is also a place where many residents come to enjoy a meal and look out at our beautiful city.
As an optimist I know the economy will recover and the golf course will once again become a revenue-producer for the city and will be able to repay the loans granted to it.
It would be tragic to see this jewel be turned over to a developer who will build condos to further clog our crowded streets.