Don't make plans to golf the links on Orem's west side very soon.
The golf course completion date has been pushed back at least another year, following the recent informational meeting between Orem and Vineyard city officials.Assistant City Manager John Park said Monday there is now no way the course can be finished before the spring of 2001.
The city needed to begin preparations before winter on nearly 200 acres in the southwest part of Orem obtained in a land swap with EsNet Management Corporation in 1997. Otherwise, a whole year is lost, Park said.
To do that, Orem needed to give the site plan final approval. Instead city officials voted to meet with Vineyard to make certain there were no problems between the cities since 30 acres of the site are in Vineyard.
The meeting, while generally positive in tone, left both cities with more questions than answers.
"All I want to do is build a golf course," Park said. "On one hand, it's very disappointing to have it delayed. I like to get things going and see them through.
"On the other hand, it's not that big a deal to back off a project to make sure it's done right. It may turn out to be a blessing in disguise."
Park said he worries about construction costs and interest rates going up while the city mulls over the details of the site plan. There are also some consultants waiting and some equipment tied up that may not be available later on.
"With the economy not quite as healthy, we might not get as good a deal on the bond prices," he said. "But nothing's being done right now. We're stopped."
Park said Orem wants to work satisfactorily with Vineyard on the project.
"That's the issue driving this," he said, "our relationship with Vineyard."
Vineyard officials told Orem's council and mayor at a breakfast meeting recently that they are considering a number of concerns that tie into the golf course project.
Mayor Rulon Gammon said Vineyard is not on the same time frame as Orem with the planning questions and doesn't want to rush.
Since the five-diamond ballfield portion of the project is in Vineyard, it benefits Orem to allow the time to address concerns with roads, access and land preservation, he said, particularly since Vineyard has only just put together its first planning commission and doesn't have a master plan.
Gammon said Vineyard is having to adjust some boundaries, look at curtailing some hunting and deal with more roads into the town. He said Vineyard welcomes the facility but said it could be 90 days or more before Vineyard is ready to make decisions about the golf course property.
He said Orem would probably just have to wait.
"I think what's come out of this is a subcommittee that will sit down and address these issues," Park said. "They haven't agreed on a time to meet yet."
Two council members, a planning commissioner and a resident from each community will make up the committee.