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Burbank may cut library, other services while giving loan to golf course

June 8, 2011 | 11:04 am


While the Burbank City Council is considering more than a half a million dollars in cuts to city services, including the fire department and libraries, it's looking at a deal to the municipally owned Debell Golf Course that would include a $2-million loan plus temporary relief of payments on a separate $2.1-million debt. Mayor Jess Talamantes has said the golf course is "too big to fail."

Our sibling blog LA Now reports:

The [$2-million golf course] loan would be more than the $566,878 in proposed budget cuts to the fire department, libraries and other public services. The loan would cover past debts and create a reserve that would earn interest, officials said. The council is scheduled to make a final decision next week after some on the panel voiced initial support for the proposal.

"As far as I'm concerned, there's a jewel up there that's too big to fail in my opinion," Talamantes said during a May 26 budget hearing.

Attendance figures for the golf course, whose clubhouse recently went through a $7.5-million renovation, hit a 10-year low in the 2009-10 fiscal year, and are projected to drop another 11% in 2010-11.

The Burbank Leader reports that although there is a plan to combine the two golf course loans for repayment by 2016, some are skeptical. Councilman David Gordon said, "A decrease in operating revenues with the rounds being played couldn't make the $2-million loan; what magical turnaround in utilization is going to occur to pay back a $4-million loan?"

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: The DeBell Golf Course clubhouse. Credit: Times Community News