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Letter: DeBell loans a drain on other services

The DeBell Golf Course
A golfer takes a swing while playing a round of golf at the DeBell Golf Course in the Hillside District of Burbank Thursday afternoon, September 20, 2007.
(Photo by Alex Collins)

Re: “DeBell Golf Club tries a new course,” Oct. 26. In the years the Burbank City Council has propped up DeBell Golf Club (currently totaling $3.1 million in loans) it has simultaneously reduced or eliminated services and programs benefiting a far greater number of Burbank residents than those who play golf.

A much better use of these millions of taxpayer dollars spent on DeBell would have been to keep the central library open on Sundays, to keep Got Wheels rolling and to continue the reduced-fare monthly bus pass for seniors.

Although the loans were meant to be repaid, the repayment schedules are far more generous than any given by lending institutions. The 2011 $1-million loan, originally to begin repayment in January 2014, has been given a two-year reprieve to 2016.

The $2.1-million loan begins repayment in 2019, 10 years after it was given. And in the future the city might consider forgiving DeBell’s loans and spend another $600,000 for the club’s needed capital improvements.


If the council spends any more money on DeBell, taxpayers ought to be outraged and demand an end to this ongoing largesse.

Local die-hard golfers in this city seem to have adopted a sense of entitlement. Why should they continue to receive money, when other city services and programs that could have used some of the millions DeBell has received languish or get axed?

I have no problem with the existence of a golf course up on the hill. I much prefer it to more housing. But it needs to be a self-sustaining enterprise fund, not a constant drain on the city’s general fund.

Molly Shore