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Funding for Cal City golf course clubhouse denied

Money assigned for Tierra del Sol clubhouse renovation is pulled after less than a year due to costs for another phase
Posted at 7:27 PM, Apr 02, 2024

CALIFORNIA CITY, Calif. (KERO) — Staff, players at Tierra del Sol golf course are disappointed after funding for a renovated clubhouse is pulled and will be used elsewhere.

  • Nearly $900,000 from American Rescue Plan Act had been assigned for clubhouse renovation at the Tierra del Sol golf course, but city council voted to use the money elsewhere instead.
  • Plans for a clubhouse renovation at Tierra del Sol started in March of 2020.
  • Another phase for the project doubled the original cost, and totaled to nearly $2 million for the entire project.


Staff and players at the Cal City golf course are hoping for a mulligan...

Money set aside for a new clubhouse at Tierra del Sol won't be happening after all...

I'm Steve Virgen your neighborhood reporter...

I spoke with some residents who say the cancellation of the funding is 'on par'... with other projects around town…

"Are we willing to spend this money? Or is this the wrong optic right now with us having to make these cuts? And they chose that this was the wrong optic," James Robinson said.

James Robinson is the manager of Tierra del Sol... explaining to me why funds were recently denied for a renovated clubhouse at the city-owned golf course.

The city council voted 4 to 1 for nearly 900,000 dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act funds to go somewhere else... rather than a new clubhouse.

Money for another phase of the project nearly doubled the original cost.

In addition, ARPA funds require prevailing wage fees for work, which are much higher than rates that can be found in east kern.

"To take $800,000 and turn it into a $2 million project when employees are getting laid off right now? It just seems like a terrible idea," said Michael Kulikoff, Cal City councilman.

"People look at the golf course either as a liability or an asset. I'm not a golfer. I see this as an asset to our community. It distinguishes us from the communities around us," said Ron Smith, the Cal City mayor pro tem.

Robinson says plans for a clubhouse started in March of 2020.

He has been affiliated with the golf course for over 40 years and still believes it can bring in revenue if improvements are made.

"I'm still willing to find a vision and move forward with it. But I don't think it's being communicated very well. The voices that you hear at the opportune times are the naysayers who say: Oh, we don't need it," Robinson said.

Duane Vasquez, a maintenance worker at the golf course, was upset that the money was voted down... but said he was relieved.

"At least now we know that they're not going to do it. So we can pull together volunteers and start to get it painted and fixed up. We can do it piece by piece. At least we have some direction. We're not waiting on them," Vasquez said.

A grand jury report from two years ago recommended that if the golf course's financial picture is not on an upward trend by March of this year... Cal City should be prepared to lease, sell or divest itself from the property.

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