ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The prospective buyers of the ailing Chamisa Hills Golf and Country Club in Rio Rancho will be making their case fora deal on water rates to the city’s Utilities Commission tonight.
The meeting will be at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.
But the terms they will be proposing won’t be the same as those they outlined a few days ago in a letter to Mayor Tom Swisstack and City Manager Keith Riesberg.
“We knew this was a starting point and we have crafted a brand new proposal and submitted it to the attention of the mayor and city council and to Mr. Riesberg,” said Bob Gallagher.
Gallagher and Jhett Browne, owner of the Farmers Market businesses in Albuquerque who have formed The Club at Rio Rancho Inc.
The club currently gets treated wastewater for irrigation from the city for 47 cents per 1,000 gallons under a contract that will soon expire. On July 1, the rate will jump to $3,28 per 1,000 gallons under pricing city councilors approved last year.
Browne wrote to Swisstack and Riesberg last week asking to extend the current rate for three years, after that increase it to 59 cents per 1,000 gallons for two years and then raise it to 90 cents per 1,000 gallons for a fixed 10-year period.
Gallagher said the proposal was an attempt to start a dialog but didn’t expect the city to release the details.
“I don’t think it helps any situation when they begin to discuss publicly what we all knew was a starting point,” Gallagher said.
They drafted the new proposal based on further “courteous and professional” discussions with city staff.
Gallagher declined to divulge details of the new water rate proposal saying he would bring copies to the Utilities Commission meeting tonight.
Gallagher has said he and Browne want to buy Chamisa Hills for an undisclosed price and invest several million dollars in rehabilitating the course, the clubhouse and other amenities. He has said the deal would be economically unfeasible without a different arrangement on water rates than the price set to kick in this summer.