ActivePaper Archive $700,000 OK’d for course design - Hobbs News Sun, 2013-05-08

• OCOTILLO PARK

$700,000 OK’d for course design

Despite having nowhere for Hobbs golfers to play while Ocotillo Park Golf Course is closed, the city is moving ahead with final design plans for a remodel of the 18-hole course.

For the last several months the city has been working with Arizona golf course designer Andy Staples and a citizens’ advisory group to develop a plan to update and modernize the old course.

The plan calls for more than $8.3 million to be spent to rearrange the 18 holes, add a 9-hole par 3 course and include putting greens, a driving range and add up to 8 inches of topsoil to the course.

At Monday’s city commission meeting, Parks and Recreation director Mia Russell presented the commission with a request to spend $692,000 on a final design for the course.

“With this we move forward with 100 percent complete plans that would be ready by the end of August,” Russell said. The city has discussed closing the course and starting the 15-month renovation in October. “That is an extremely aggressive timeline, but if approved tonight Andy starts working on these plans immediately. We would have 100 percent construction documents ready to go out to bid by the end of September.”

The cost of the contract for the final designs is on par with the industry standard of 10 percent the total project cost, Russell said.

Russell said the city has the ability to terminate or put the contract on hold if unable to put the project out to bid later this year.

The city has been in talks with the Hobbs Country Club for a contract to allow non-club members to play the course while Ocotillo closes for 15 months of construction. However, an agreement has not yet been reached. City staff and commissioners were supportive of the contract, approving it unanimously.

“I really believe this is a community event and we have really rallied everybody and this will open the door for a better golfing experience for the players today and our children,” said city manager J.J. Murphy.

“I would not like to see this project go by the way of our aquatic center,” said commissioner Garry Buie, referencing a planned aquatic center that is not on hold indefinitely.

“When we committed to the pro shop, I felt we had to commit to doing something out there,” said commissioner John Boyd.

“It is very important to me we move forward on this project,” said commissioner Jonathan Sena. “We have the finances to do something right and I believe we have the consensus of the community to do something right.”

“I concur,” Mayor Sam Cobb said in summing up comments on the plan. “I am fortunate to work with a group that has a vision for Ocotillo and what we are going to look like 20-30 years from now.”

Levi Hill can be reached at 391-5438 or reporter2@hobbsnews.com.