Beach & Parks District Develops ‘Plan B’ For Boca National

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By: Diane Emeott Korzen Contributing Writer

Who will pay for construction of Boca National Golf Course in Boca Teeca remains a mystery as of press time. Although, one possibility is becoming clearer.

With a millage ‘rate hike’ tentatively set by the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District if needed, the Beach & Park District is doing what it feels it has to, to keep its labor of love, Boca National Golf Course, moving forward.

At a July 25 Special Meeting, the Beach & Park District tentatively set a maximum millage rate of 1.1956 mills for the new fiscal year 2020, which begins Oct. 1. The current rate is .9147 mills.

This proposed millage rate increase by the Beach & Parks District is estimated to produce an additional $9 million – which may be needed if the city of Boca doesn’t answer the District’s ask for an additional $10 million toward golf course construction.

If adopted at September Public Hearings, the impact on a house within the District valued at $300,000 would be $84 in additional taxes, according to the Beach & Park District.

The first public hearing on the district’s budget is Sept. 11, with a second date to be determined during that meeting.

About 10 people spoke in favor of raising the tax if it means continuing progress with Boca National as designed by Price-Fazio.

The rate can be lowered before the budget is set but not raised.

Beach & Park District Commissioner Craig Ehrnst cast the sole dissenting vote on the rate hike. Commissioner Erin Wright said she would support it that night, but likely wouldn’t come September.

“Tonight we give ourselves some wiggle room. By approving this [tentative] millage, we have a fallback plan,” said Commissioner Robert Rollins while awaiting the outcome of an Aug. 26 Boca Council Workshop – when City Council is expected to discuss further their thoughts on Boca National Golf Course.

The City just called a second meeting, Request For Information on Golf Course Design, August 27 at 3 p.m. in Council Chambers. “Perhaps funding will be part of that meeting,” said City of Boca Public Information Officer Chrissy Gibson.

The meeting will take place after the Boca Newspaper goes to print.