Hot summer has golf course struggling to stay in the green

By Leah Murray
August 23, 2017 - 5:30pm Updated: August 23, 2017 - 7:07pm


REDCLIFF, AB — The Riverview Golf Club in Redcliff approached the town for some assistance with its water bills.

The golf course said they’ve done all they can to reduce water consumption while maintaining the course.

Night watering has been cut from 20 minutes a night to six minutes, and there are short periods during the day where the sprinklers will be turned on to help keep the grass from burning.

“We're really looking at finding areas at this golf course where we can stop irrigating and we've made the proper steps in accomplishing that,” said Glenn Racz, director of golf at the Riverview Golf Club.

Even with the cutbacks, the golf course is still facing a hefty bill trying to keep the areas green.

The golf course is looking at a bill of around $40,000 to $50,000 just for watering this year.

“It's been very, very dry, very little rain and the heat,” said Racz. “The saving grace is it hasn't been too terribly windy, which would really dry us out.”

The golf course budgeted for a lower water bill this year. That’s because they say the town told them the new water treatment plant would provide an option for reduced water costs.

“We were under the impression that we were going to be receiving some of the backwash water at a reduced rate,” said Racz. “So the plant is up and operational now and our water bills are still basically the same.”

In a letter to the Town of Redcliff, the golf course made an appeal for the town to forgive their bill for this year.

Council unanimously voted against the request during their meeting this week.

Mayor Ernie Reimer said there was never a guarantee the club would receive water at a reduced rate.

“We felt that money that we were charging, which is 18 cents a cubic metre, that’s no secret, that’s not exactly going to break the bank,” said Reimer. “So, we felt we needed to continue to do that.”

Racz said they are disappointed with the decision and have been struggling to balance increased costs and decreased revenue.

“We didn't quite get to our budgeted membership this year, but then again we had also budgeted for less on our water bill,” explained Racz. “So, those two are kind of a bitter pill to swallow.”

Racz said they will be resubmitting a letter to the town with a revised request to cover only part of the bill instead of the whole thing.

The golf club said that letter won’t be submitted until after a new Town Council is elected.

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