Crystal Falls Golf Club fee increase approved by Leander City Council

Crystal Falls Golf Club will increase its fees across the board starting Aug. 1 following Leander City Council approval.

The higher fees, which were approved at the June 21 Leander City Council meeting and take affect Aug. 1, are consistent with municipal-owned golf courses in surrounding communities, Development Services Director Jim Bechtol said, particularly the Forest Creek Golf Club in Round Rock. Also, it is the first time Crystal Falls golf course has increased rates since October 2009.

"We feel like it's warranted, and we don't think it's going to run anybody off," he said. "It's a positive approach; there's no indications we would go to a point that's excessive."

The 8 percent to 12 percent rate increase coincides with more than $300,000 in course improvements the past four years, Bechtol said. The course also purchased new golf carts within the past year, he said.

Councilwoman Kirsten Lynch asked Bechtol to consider adopting special rates for Leander residents in the future.

"Since taxpayers are paying for this anyway, it'd be nice to give them a little bit of a discount," she said.

Crystal Falls once offered residential discounts in the mid-1990s, Bechtol said, but it became difficult and time-consuming to verify residency to guard against those who have a Leander mailing address despite living outside city limits. The city could one day issue identification cards, he said, to help verify Leander residency.

The course currently hosts anywhere from 18,000 to 22,000 rounds of golf per year, Bechtol said.

In other council news:

The Leander City Council withheld making any decision against former Mayor John Cowman. The Ethics Commission recommended June 13 that Cowman be written two letters of reprimand and one letter of censure for alleged violations that occurred while he was still in office. The recommendation was forwarded to council, which voted to table the matter after a lengthy discussion in executive session.

Jason Dishongh was sworn into the Place 5 seat. He takes over for new Mayor Chris Fielder, who defeated Cowman in the May 12 city election. Dishongh defeated John F. Perez 306-181 in the June 16 runoff election. Dishongh previously served on the Leander Parks and Recreation Board.

By Joe Lanane
Joe Lanane’s career is rooted in community journalism, having worked for a variety of Midwest-area publications before landing south of the Mason-Dixon line in 2011 as the Stillwater News-Press news editor. He arrived at Community Impact Newspaper in 2012, gaining experience as editor of the company’s second-oldest publication in Leander/Cedar Park. He eventually became Central Austin editor, covering City Hall and the urban core of the city. Lanane leveraged that experience to become Austin managing editor in 2016. He managed eight Central Texas editions from Georgetown to San Marcos. Working from company headquarters, Lanane also became heavily involved in enacting corporate-wide editorial improvements. In 2017, Lanane was promoted to executive editor, overseeing editorial operations throughout the company. The Illinois native received his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and his journalism master’s degree from Ball State University.


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