The Pueblo West View

Letter: Just the facts

Concerning financial performance of Desert Hawk Golf Course Enterprise at Pueblo West, let’s stop clouding the issue with smoke and mirrors. Just take a good look at the audited Desert Hawk Golf Course financial report dated December 31, 2012.

The report shows total golf course revenues of $799,969; total operating expenses of $968,825; results: a loss of $168,856. The report then shows deduction of Interest and fiscal charges amounting to $351,879; final results: a financial loss of $520,735, before “TRANSFERS” — which refers to the write off of $3,909,027 in Pueblo County loans made over the past decade to Desert Hawk, written off as uncollectable bad debt.

Those loans came from taxpayer money that has outrageously evaporated.

It’s much more than a small negative impact. Obtain a copy of the report and confirm these facts for yourself.

To argue that depreciation charges and interest and fiscal charges should not be deducted by Desert Hawk as business expenses in arriving at final financial results, as some have, is simply misguided wishful thinking.

It was similar thinking that went into past decisions leading eventually to the write-off of Pueblo County loans (taxpayer dollars) as uncollectable bad debt.

If the financial report were instead a budget report, or a report of source and application of funds, or a cash flow report, several items would be handled differently.

But the report in question is not a financial planning tool; it covers Desert Hawk’s financial results as a business enterprise.

No private enterprise would forego deducting depreciation, interest and fiscal charges — legitimate business expenses — in arriving at net financial performance. Neither should Desert Hawk Golf Course Enterprise at Pueblo West.

So, let’s dispense with the smoke and mirrors about eliminating certain expenses to soften Desert Hawk’s dismal financial condition.

Just the facts, please: Desert Hawk Golf Course Enterprise is financially a dismal failure.

Nevertheless, it is obviously important to the over-500 golf course homeowners and other property owners surrounding it.

Therefore, Desert Hawk Golf Course property owners should establish a special district, like Heather Ridge Metropolitan District No. 1 in Aurora, covering just the golf course and surrounding properties.

And, like Heather Ridge Metropolitan District property owners have done, they should take over responsibility for overseeing golf course operations and providing for its fiscal obligations.

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The Pueblo West View