Wednesday, 17 September 2014 10:45

Elmwood president refutes letter writer’s assertions

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Editor:


In his letter to the editor, in the Sept. 12 Prairie Post, Mr. Robinson provided some commentary on the financing arrangements the City of Swift Current reached with Elmwood Golf and Country Club. It is unfortunate Mr. Robinson seems to have completely missed the structure and purpose of this agreement, mistakenly categorizing this partnership between the City and Elmwood as a “gift or a grant” rather than recognizing the benefits this project has for both Elmwood and the City of Swift Current. It’s anything but a gift … it’s a progressive partnership of which our board is both proud and appreciative.
The original proposal to the City was a non-refundable grant, which the City turned down without closing the door to discussions and through months of negotiation this agreement was reached.  The financing arrangement is a loan which Elmwood must pay back in full with interest so the City and ratepayers are made whole.
The methods of repayments are two:
 First, the City will price the new lots to recover all of their infrastructure costs (as they normally do), then a premium will be added to the price to reflect the demand there is sure to be for such desirable lots. The demand for these lots, and particularly the willingness of taxpayers to pay a premium for them, will exist solely as a result of the benefits of living on a first-class Les Furber designed golf course.
Here, the lot purchasers will be helping pay off about $1.4 million of the loan, not the City or its taxpayers. Mr. Robinson couldn’t be more wrong in saying the total amount of the loan, or any part of the loan, will be paid with City dollars.
 Secondly, Elmwood will pay back the remaining balance of the loan. As most astute business people know, you time the duration of debt to the life of the asset. As a golf green is expected to last about 40 years, that is the duration of the loan. This is very common in long-term assets. 
As the board representing Elmwood, it is clear to us this partnership reflects a positive and progressive outlook for both our course and the City, and not the doom and gloom Mr. Robinson seems intent on purveying. We are excited for what will be a one-of-a-kind residential development on a great golf course and look forward to both Elmwood and the residents of the City of Swift Current reaping the benefits of this project for years to come, both in property tax revenues and in bringing additional tourism money into the City.
I welcome any questions regarding this arrangement or the renovation of Elmwood as I know both the City and Elmwood have gone to great pains to protect the ratepayers of Swift Current while upgrading a valuable asset for the City.
Warren Hope, President Elmwood Golf & Country Club

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