Poplar Creek Is Closing Down???

Update 8/21/17

The San Mateo City Council met on 8/21/17 and alternative uses for Poplar Creek was on the agenda.  They agreed to keep Poplar Creek open..  

Read more at the Daily Journal (be sure to read the part about putting a hotel on the property).

Also of interest is Park & Recreation's letter to the City Council on their recommendation to keep Poplar Creek open.  Read their letter (Attachment 3).

Here we go again.  More talk about closing Poplar Creek and using the land for other uses.  Here's some useful links for your viewing.

Poplar Creek Golf Course-Alternative Use Final Report (6/7/17, San Mateo Parks & Recreation)

Read Attachment 2 with emphasis on:

  • Page 19 – Price per round amongst local courses
  • Chapter 4 – Relocating the maintenance yard and putting a hotel in its place
  • Chapter 6 – Recommendations

As of this post, the Parks & Recreation Commission have not finalized their minutes of the meeting although they did state at the conclusion of the public hearing on June 7 (packed house) that they are in favor of the recommendations of the study outlined on page 59 of the final report (link above).  The Commission will present their final recommendations to the San Mateo City Council in July or August.

San Mateo Daily Journal – 6/5/17

San Mateo Daily Journal – 4/6/16

San Mateo Daily Journal – 4/2/16

Thank you Curtis Roe for allowing us to post his article he wrote for the Brisbane Luminary in May 2016.


Fore is golf talk for look out.

Did you hear that the San Mateo golf course is losing money?   According to a recent article on April 6 of the SM Daily Journal, that is what’s happening.  There are multiple reports out there supporting this statement as well.  It feels like there is a movement to shut this down.  Kind of makes me mad.  Why would a city waste good money on a facility enjoyed by a few?  Don’t the cities have better things to do with tax revenue?  But wait!

Have you ever wondered how the accounting works for municipal golf course?  As a governmental agency, there are specific requirements addressing how they account and report on their activities.  I am not an expert in this kind of accounting.  I do know enough to ask some questions though.  My question is how does an enterprise that has been in operation for decades suddenly lose money?  I believe part of the answer lies in the method of accounting.

In most governmental entities, they have a general fund and satellite funds that all roll into the general.  Some funds generate revenue.  Other funds just represent some kind of service or process. Those who manage the process get to decide if and how they want to allocate costs to different funds.

It just so happens that there are some really big allocations sent over to the Poplar Creek income statement.  The estimated indirect costs allocated to Poplar Creek GC in 2012 were $221,516.  An additional line item called the In-Lieu of Taxes expense was estimated at $437,922.  I found this at www.cityofsanmateo.org in a recommendation to the mayor.  The anticipated revenues that year were $2,556,000.  The estimated loss for the year was $130,309.  Of course they would lose money.  Who can afford to absorb over $600,000 of expense without feeling some hurt?

There is talk of closing down the golf course and putting something else in.  Unless that new enterprise generates more revenue  than the golf course, more money would be lost.  There is talk of replacing the  golf course with baseball parks and soccer fields.  These fields would generate  little or no revenue.  We could then count on losing all the revenue that absorbs the indirect costs and In-Lieu of Taxes.   Not only that, but there are also additional costs for debt service that exceed $680,000 that still need to be paid.  We would be looking a total that exceeds a million dollars.  Right now we are only considering the $130,309 that has been compiled.  Again, unless your name is Scrooge, we need to remember all the people who work at the course would lose their jobs.  And then there would be the cost of removing the golf course and building the new, new thing.

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