Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

PIERCE COUNTY: Taxpayers on the hook for Chambers Bay course

Letter by Louis M. Seeger, Fife on March 14, 2012 at 2:00 pm with 13 Comments »
March 14, 2012 2:00 pm

I visited Chambers Bay Tuesday morning to see if my personal vision of the world-renowned golf course and park had been changed by some of the latest news and comments.

It is a wonderful golf course, and the park has great views and many uses for all local residents. Employees are helpful and engaging. I enjoyed a very nice lunch and a blustery walk around the vast and windswept acres that very enjoyable. First class!

I am quite pleased that the estimated sales tax revenue and other income that Pierce County has earned is healthy. But the course cannot pay its current bills, again. The golf course would be bankrupt if it were a privately held entity. The future of our “Ladenburg Links” seems promising only because residents pay their bills and thus enable Pierce County to bankroll the golf course. A very costly facility still.

Leave a comment Comments → 13
  1. redneckbuck says:

    Every time we flush Ladenburg Links gets paid! 150 million and counting! Oh but the big tournament is heading this way……You can flush those profits too!

  2. If the taxpayers weren’t paying for this White Elephant and a Private entity was responsible for footing the bills, I can assure you the Private entity would have dumped this Joke a long time ago!

  3. old_benjamin says:

    At least University Place now has a mate for its own White elephant.

  4. The three blind mice have spoken. They know everything there is to know about Chambers Bay and its parent, Chambers Creek Properties. Nobody needs to know anything else. Isn’t it wonderful to have such informed folks. And not a hint of bias either. Society does not need enhancements paid by combined government entities. The old mine would have been fine just as it was. We do not need any more green space around here.
    Really blind mice.

  5. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    The “old Mine” would have mad a fine housing development – put a lot of $ in the UP and county coffers, as opposed to…

    Devil’s advocate here. I simply cannot bring myself to agree with publico.

  6. Let’s be clear. If you are not a Pierce county sewer customer, you are not really affected by Chambers Bay. If one includes the the sales tax revenue and lodging tax revenue from visitors, I suspect you are coming out way ahead in the deal.

    If you live in Steilacoom or University Place, you have a very, very nice park for your money.

    For rest of us sewer customers, let’s hope the US Open lives up to the predictions.

  7. Vox, I agree. The problem with that is that it is then lost to the community. The way it has turned out, we have something and it costs next to nothing in the scheme of things. Those who don’t use the facility need to balance their view with those who do use the facility. Nobody is excluded. In private hands that would not be the case.
    Why do I have to explain something so simple?

  8. rooster_02 says:

    It is an exclusive playground for the golfers that have the time and money to use it. Call it public if you want but the vast majority of citizens do not golf or can not afford the fees if they did golf.

  9. dennyknowles says:

    The comments made here is why Tacoma and Pierce County is the armpit of the Puget Sound. People mocked the Space Needle, they almost turned Pikes Place Market into condos and offices. I am not a fan of Ladenburg since he and his wife prance around town like they are royalty but he was right on with his vision and the work he put into the golf course. The 2015 US Open will prove just that. Once the course is broadcast over the world to millions of people, they will come.

  10. redneckbuck says:

    Will they come during the 8 months the weather is like it is today? Hell no. The course has jumped the shark with local folks. Call and make a tee time today, they have lots of tee times available. In fact, don’t call just walk in.

  11. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Pub, as I stated, I was playing the devil’s advocate role because, in this rare instance, I agree with you.

    However, I’d have to say my agreeing with you is borne out of the begrudging acknowledgement that most large pieces of land which become available in an urban location will undergo significant pressure to be dedicated to public recreation (parks, athletic fields, etc.) – thus costing taxpayers ever more in both construction and upkeep expenses, as well as lost tax revenue.

    At least in this instance the use is returning something – if not necessarily revenue, certainly the prestige of having a world class links course of such high quality as to attract an event like the US open. And I would bet the cost to the county taxpayers is significantly less than what city residents pay to support Metro Parks and their hugley bloated staff – heck point Defiance alone is probably more of a drain than Chambers Bay.

    We’re talking about a public enterprise here, that’s trying to pay for itself. I’d call that a good thing. Short of using the “old mine” as a links course, I would much prefer a housing development.

  12. It would have taken significant dollars to make the old mine into something green that could be used by the public. By having the golf course there, a part of the 930 acres actually generates a return to help pay for the overall development of the property. The fact that it does not pay for everything does not diminish the contribution it does make. A plain bare green space would generate no dollars at all, but would still cost a bundle to develop.
    The nay-sayers are always nay-sayers no matter the benefits to society because they have blinders in their DNA.

  13. redneckbuck says:

    It is not that I am a “nay-sayer”….If my dog needed a surgery that had a tag of $1500, I would be getting a new dog.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0