Though it has been proposed in the past, especially during cash-strapped times, Montebello city officials have always been reluctant to part with its golf course on a hill, with its popularly-used banquet hall located ideally off the 60 freeway.
The Montebello city council was scheduled to consider a proposal by an interested buyer in closed session yesterday after press time.
The company, Dae Yang USA, Inc., sent an “unsolicited” proposal to the city, Planning Director Michael Huntley said. The city was not seeking buyers, but “because of difficult financial times, we have to evaluate all opportunities,” he said. Wednesday night would be the first time the council could give direction on the proposal.
Montebello could use the quick cash. The city council approved a balanced budget this year, but its success is dependent on borrowing from its self-insurance fund, normally reserved to cover claims and liabilities. While the city believes it is able to make back enough money by the end of the year to pay for its expenses, city staff is regularly monitoring city funds.
Still, officials say revenue from the golf course, though not ideal in recent years, seems to be on its way up. The golf course appears to be “doing better than it has [in the] past several years,” Interim City Administrator and Finance Director Francesca Tucker-Schuyler told EGP earlier this month.
The sale of the golf course has been proposed in the past as a way to bring in revenue, but past councils have always turned away buyers. The golf course is “considered somewhat of a sacred cow… with this particular piece of property, again it’s the Montebello country club. I believe the council feels it’s an important asset and is something that should be maintained by the city,” said Huntley.
Councilman Jack Hadjinian also seemed uneasy with the proposal and said he would not be looking forward to “the idea of selling” the golf course, adding, “there are better options to entertain” for bringing in revenue.