An unclear water agreement between the city and the Hillcrest and Lynbrook golf clubs has caused confusion over who should be paying to replace the Snowdy Springs pump.
A report to city council on Monday night had city administration recommending that the city finances the purchase of the pump and the two golf clubs split the cost equally to pay back to the city over a five-year period. The Snowdy Spring pump supplies irrigation water to the golf courses.
The cost of the pump is estimated at over $68,000. Under the city administration’s recommendation, the clubs would pay back nearly $7,000 each per year.
The golf clubs proposed a three-way split with the city that would see each party pay a total of $22,700, which was unanimously approved by city council in a one-time deal.
Lynbrook board president and former mayor Deb Higgins said the golf courses need to continue maintaining their green space as they play an important role in the community.
“When you look at the Hillcrest and the Lynbrook, we operate and maintain quite well, I think, the largest green spaces in the City of Moose Jaw. The Lynbrook had just under 25,000 rounds of golf played last year, and it was a short year,” Higgins said.
Hillcrest general manager Jasmine Cameron said they have the money to replace the pump, but it comes at a cost.
“We're in a position that we can do this, but it then takes us two steps back where we could be putting more into other projects on the course that we had on a priority list,” she told city council.
The problem that arose on Monday night was that the city couldn’t produce a water agreement, past or present, that outlines who pays when the pump fails and needs to be replaced.
While the motion passed as a one-time agreement, councillors Crystal Froese and Dawn Luhning said city administration needs to re-examine the water agreement with the golf clubs and clarify who pays for what.
“Twenty years from now when they come back and need to replace a pump and they're asking, then staff will have to dig back and they'll find this motion that we had considered today and they'll say, but back then they paid for the pump,” Froese said.
“To me, there wasn't anything in the agreement at all about the cost-sharing of any of this stuff. So, my suggestion would be, and I agree with Councillor Froese, that maybe administration would take it under their wing to look at these agreements and sit down with the two courses and determine what is a fair updated agreement going forward,” Luhning added.
Coun. Jamey Logan disagreed, saying decisions like this one needed to be taken on a case-by-case basis.
“I would hate to tie the hands of the council of the day. Hopefully, it's several years from now and it's not us sitting around this table, but if it's in the agreement, it may potentially tie our hands and I don't know that I would support that,” Logan said.
“I'm happy supporting a one-time agreement as it sits right now to replace the pump and let the future councils of the day decide their course of action, based on their budget.”
The city’s portion of the three-way deal will be paid for through the water and wastewater utility accounts, while the golf courses will pay their share back to the city over a five-year period.