Could Turlock soon be home to an 18-hole municipal golf course or a city-built water park?
Both amenities are on a list of projects for future consideration, and a planned city-backed study is set to examine their feasibility.
The $75,000 study will hire a consultant to estimate costs to construct and operate those projects, and others listed in Turlock’s Parks Master Plan. The study will also examine potential funding strategies to turn the proposals into reality.
"We've really got to ultimately find out what all these things are going to cost and the feasibility of it," said Turlock Parks, Recreation, and Community Programs Commission Chairman Mike Dowd.
The Turlock Parks, Recreation and Community Programs Commission unanimously endorsed the study during its March 12 meeting. The Turlock City Council will make a final decision on the study in the coming weeks.
As discussed in the Parks Master Plan, an 18-hole municipal golf course and driving range “could add another potential for positive cash flow for the community.” The plan also notes that the city has recorded demand for local public golf course.
A “Family Aquatic Center” could consist of water slides, water tube rides, and a wave pool. The center could also include sand volleyball, paddle tennis, and food concessions, per the plan.
Either project would likely be jointly developed in a public-private partnership. The City of Turlock would likely provide land, while a developer would build and manage the facilities, per the plan.
The City of Turlock has previously employed public-private partnerships to success, such as in the re-built Carnegie Arts Center. The City of Turlock paid to construct the facility, but the Carnegie Arts Center Foundation operates the facility and pays for all ongoing costs.
Other potential public-private partnerships could lead to development of a miniature golf course, a family fun center, a tennis club, an ice skating rink, botanical garden, or an aquatic and fitness center, per the plan.
After the consultant’s work is done, the Turlock City Council would determine which projects to pursue. Funding for those projects would likely be included in the city’s Capital Facility Fees, which charge new developments for their share of constructing city buildings and parks.
The Parks Master Plan was initially adopted in July 1995, and was updated in September 2003. In the plan’s nearly 20 year history, there is a precedent for its goals becoming reality.
The Parks Master Plan listed the need for a large soccer complex. That dream became the Turlock Regional Sports Complex, which now hosts the San Jose Earthquakes’ Professional Developmental League affiliate’s practices.
And a proposed public greenway system, connecting the entire city through bicycle and pedestrian pathways, is already a reality in parts of North Turlock. The new Turlock General Plan will extend the greenways throughout Turlock in the coming years.